As the White House kicks off its Made in America Week, shining a spotlight on products manufactured domestically, President Donald Trump‘s spokesman was forced Monday to defend the fact that goods bearing the Trump name are frequently produced abroad.
Made in America Week — continuing a trend of themed weeks, such as Infrastructure Week and Energy Week — saw the White House hosting a product showcase featuring a variety of items manufactured in the U.S., the president delivering a speech encouraging domestic manufacturing and a ceremony commissioning the latest American-built Navy aircraft carrier.
But asked at Monday’s press briefing about whether the Trump Organization or Ivanka Trump brands would commit “to stop manufacturing wares abroad,” press secretary Sean Spicer shifted the focus to Trump’s attempts to cultivate other companies’ domestic production efforts.
“I think what’s really important is the president’s agenda — regulatory relief and tax relief — are focused on trying to make sure that all companies can hire here, can expand here, can manufacture here,” said Spicer.
On the matter of Trump-branded items, he added, “I can tell you that in some cases, there are certain supply chains or scalability that may not be available in this country.”
Questions about Trump products’ creation and assembly abroad have dogged the businessman-turned-president since first announcing his America-first ambitions at the launch of his candidacy for president over two years ago.
During a memorable campaign stop in August 2016, Democratic rival Hillary Clinton held up a Trump-branded tie made China as she assailed the Republican nominee for suits stitched in Mexico, furniture created in Turkey and picture frames made in India.
Trump shrugged off the criticism during the campaign, telling ABC News that Clinton didn’t need to raise the issue because he readily took ownership of the foreign items, chalking up the decisions as a financial one, given the…