While President Trump wages a trade war with China that could soon impact every Chinese-made product entering the US, the owner of a Chinese factory has confirmed to the Hill that he’s been hired to produce flags for Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign.
The factory owner, Li Jiang, runs a flag-making factory in China’s Zhejiang province with his wife. He made his revelation about the Trump campaign flags during an appearance on NPR’s “The Indicator” podcast, where he confirmed that workers at his factory knew Trump would win the presidency when orders for Trump-branded flags far outpaced orders for Hillary Clinton flags.
But his factory, like most businesses in China, also has some troubling connections with the Communist Party. Li said he got his start producing red scarves for primary school students who joined the Communist Party’s youth organization, the Young Pioneers. When China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, Li and his wife saw an opportunity to expand their business, and started making flags for countries around the world. Li says his factory has produced flags bearing the emblem of all 50 US states. According to Li, all the flags produced at his factory carry the market “made in China.”
Asked whether it feels “strange” to make flags for Trump while he’s waging a trade war against China, Li responded that it feels “completely normal.”
LI: (Through interpreter) It is completely normal. And that is trade. We buy stuff from America, and America is buying buying stuff from China. For example, my car is from America.
Without saying it outright, one of the podcasts’ hosts insinuated that Trump was being a hypocrite for buying his campaign merchandise from a Chinese factory.
GARCIA: You can imagine a situation where – in the future when President Trump is campaigning again for himself or maybe for some other people that he’ll be looking out over a sea of supporters, and they’ll be waving flags and wearing hats that were just shipped in from China and which are affordable to give out en masse in part because of the very system that President Trump is now condemning.
Li added that he’s not worried about the trade war between the US and China because, even if his factory loses all of its US business, he would still be able to operate. Most of his business is with other countries, particularly Israel, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. But even if the US does slap tariffs on his products, he says he still wouldn’t fret. Why?
We are not so worried because first of all, we have a big price advantage over our competitors. And our clients are very smart. They would always go to the cheapest place. If China is cheap, they go to China. If America is cheap, they go to America.
Business insider pointed out that it’s not clear if the Trump flags being produced today were ordered by the Trump campaign or by a third-party organization.
Of course, while Trump is trying to “Make America Great Again” Chinese President Xi Jinping is trying to ensure that everything is “Made in China” – as he pushes his “Made in China 2025” campaign to make China “self-sufficient when it comes to technology – What does it say about who is ‘winning’ when Trump 2020 campaign flags are being made in China’s Zhejiang Province?
Maybe American flag-makers are being paid too much.
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