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Donald Trump ran on a platform that promised to ensure that manufacturing jobs would be returned en masse to the United States and that a particular effort would be leveled at tackling America’s most formidable economic competitor, China.
Trump’s rhetoric was criticized fiercely as being hypocritical given the fact that his daughter, Ivanka Trump, has a line of shoes which was manufactured almost exclusively in China. Now it appears as though Ivanka Trump’s manufacturing operation will shortly be moving countries – but the jobs are not coming back to the United States.
Ivanka Trump is going to move her business from China to Africa
According to the Huajin Group, a Chinese shoe manufacturer charged with the production of Ivanka Trump’s line of shoes, they have supplied 100,000 pairs for the collection which were produced in China. According to the Harvard professor of trade and investment who tracked the origin of products sold by Ivanka Trump, the vast majority of her goods were manufactured overseas with the bulk of these being created in China.
Now the company plans to shift the location of the company’s production to Ethiopia because the labor costs are proportionately much cheaper. The factory will be based in Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa and early indications suggest that the relocation will be permanent. A light industrial city will be constructed in the African country which will house production facilities, living accommodation and a private hospital for the workers.
Traditionally, multi-corporations have shied away from taking their production lines to Africa despite the relatively cheap costs of labor. There are multiple reasons for this historical aversion to Africa as a manufacturing hub including the potential political instability and lack of necessary infrastructure in most sub-Saharan regions. However, this has begun to change in recent years, particularly where Ethiopia is concerned. Investment in industrial zones has led to companies such as H&M and Primark taking their business to Addis Ababa. American companies have also be led in their droves to the African nation as under recently renewed measures such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), goods made in Ethiopia are exempt from US import duties so long as certain conditions are met.
While this all may be a smart business move for Ivanka Trump and her company, it will do nothing to subdue calls of hypocrisy leveled at President Trump and the First Family.
— scs (@muses220) November 21, 2016
— Catalina Reasoner (@CatReasoner) August 7, 2016
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