Donald Trump has emerged in recent years as the nation's foremost China basher, going after the Asian superpower for undervaluing its currency and for taking American manufacturing and jobs ... Now, Trump has long complained about Chinese currency "manipulation" and has called for a large tariff on imports of products from China in order to bolster U.S. manufacturing. But he has also gone further, urging Americans to buy fewer products from China, claiming that Chinese goods are shoddy and maintaining that, in his own business dealings, he favors American manufacturing over Chinese manufacturing.
Trump claims he is running for the Republican nomination to be President. One would think candidates in that party would be singing the virtues of free trade as if it made everyone better off. But I would agree with Mr. Trump on the international macroeconomic issue that their undervalued currency does have at least a minor impact on U.S. aggregate demand. And no – everyone is not better off from free trade even if Chinese goods are high quality. But having just read Dani Rodrik’s The Globalization Paradox, let me suggest that Mr. Trump also read this excellent discussion so he might sharpen his questioning of the standard Republican talking points for free trade.
But I’ve left off Justin Elliot’s punch line:
So it's at least ironic -- and at most an example of gross hypocrisy -- that Trump's own line of men's wear, the Donald J. Trump Signature Collection, is manufactured in China.I discovered this after walking from Salon's offices to the large Macy's in midtown Manhattan, where an entire section is devoted to the Donald J. Trump Signature Collection of suits and ties. This particular corner of the store is decorated with an oversize portrait of Trump; the line promises to provide "the pinnacle of style and sophistication" and "the necessities to be boardroom ready all of the time."
The Census Bureau reports that we purchased almost $365 billion in goods from China last year of which over $59 billion was related to apparel and footwear. So Mr. Trump is not alone in sourcing apparel from China. And I’d never call his clothing crap even he does.