Photo by Danny Reuter for Reuters
In a plot twist that will surprise absolutely no one, Donald Trump’s allegedly “American-made” suits may not actually be as homegrown as they claim to be. After noticing that the two-piece suits Trump sold through Amazon were listed as both “imported” and “made in the U.S.A.,” the eagle-eyed sleuths at Buzzfeed ordered a couple in the name of scientific inquiry. Why does this even matter? “Bringing overseas manufacturing jobs back to America is a cornerstone of Trump’s presidential campaign,” reporter Daniel Wagner explained. “He even swore off Oreos after Nabisco moved some jobs to Mexico.” The TL;DR version: The suits were manufactured in Indonesia.
Trump has fielded criticism before for railing over the loss of American jobs overseas on the one hand, yet outsourcing his own manufacturing on the other. More infamously, he characterized Mexicans as drug dealers and rapists during the announcement of his 2016 presidential bid, forgetting perhaps that much of his own clothing line originates from south of the border, sometimes under appalling labor conditions.
Buzzfeed’s timing couldn’t be better. On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton released a new 30-second TV spot that takes Trump to task for outsourcing the production of the clothes that bear his name.
“You know, Donald Trump says he’ll make America great again, while he’s taking the shirts right off our backs,” said Robert Kidder, owner of New England Shirt Company.
“Donald Trump’s brand of shirts come from China, his suits from Mexico, his coats from India,” Robert Kidder, owner of New England Shirt Company, says in the ad. “Trump’s products have been made in 12 other countries because he says there’s no place in America that he can make them.”
“Well,” he continues, as scenes of workers at the Fall River, Mass.–based factory roll across the screen, “there is.”
Kidder concludes: “You know, Donald Trump says he’ll make America great again, while he’s taking the shirts right off our backs.”
And apparently the Republican presidential candidate doesn’t even wear his own togs. Just last month, British GQ reported that Trump favors suits by Brioni, the Italian maker of $7,500 wool-and-silk suits and $600 cotton shirts. In his 2004 book Trump: Think Like a Billionaire, the Donald thanked the couturier for “graciously” supplied him with his wardrobe for his reality show, The Apprentice.
“Today, Trump might buy all his Brioni suits himself,” quipped Nick Carvell, associate style editor at the magazine. “But what does that say of a man who espouses the need to create more American jobs for American people—then wears clothes cut by European designers?”