Ivanka Trump’s business under fire

Ivanka Trump’s business under fire
Products made by Ivanka Trump’s eponymous brand are not made in America. With the current White House administration strongly espousing its “Make in America” policy, the daughter of the US President, Donald Trump has come under criticism for the..

Products made by Ivanka Trump’s eponymous brand are not made in America.

With the current White House administration strongly espousing its “Make in America” policy, the daughter of the US President, Donald Trump has come under criticism for the practices adopted by her business.

Background

In 2007, Ivanka Trump entered an agreement with diamond vendor, Dynamic Diamond Corp., to create Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry. In addition to working in the Trump family businesses, she also runs a retail arm of her own brand. This brand primarily sells fashion items and accessories like clothes, handbags and shoes.

When Donald Trump assumed the office of the President, Ivanka took a formal leave of absence from her brand. Now she serves as a White House adviser, an unpaid position and has been given security clearance. Upon joining the administration, she transferred her assets to a trust.

But she has been criticized for keeping her ownership stake with her brand.

Analysis

To promote local businesses and workforce, the administration is currently conducting a “Made in America” week. This is in line with President Donald Trump’s rhetoric during his campaign. During his inauguration he said, “We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs. We will follow two simple rules — buy American and hire American.”

An investigation from Washington Post has revealed that much of Ivanka Trump’s products are made exclusively in countries like Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Bangladesh.

Since January 2017, her apparel brand has imported 56 containers from China and Singapore. A total of 215 containers of Ivanka Trump products were made from Asia since January 2016. Additionally, details emerged that the factories in China offer poor working conditions. Workers are underpaid and do not receive benefits. 

As of April 2017, Ivanka Trump along with her husband, Jared Kushner (who also serves in the White House), is worth $740 million dollars. Kushner has also invited ire with many claiming that his real estate business has gotten a boost due to his current position in the White House.

Unlike past presidents, Donald Trump has not transferred his assets into a blind trust. His business holdings are in a trust run by his sons and his did not sell his stake. Many of his products are also made outside of the US.

Assessment

Our assessment is that it is important for leaders to back their statements with action. Ivanka is not only the daughter of the President but also a White House adviser. Such contradictory messaging with further diminishes the credibility of the family and the White House. . There is another concern that the administration needs to address – should family members with no prior expertise in international affairs be serving in the White House? 

Comments