Will RNC Delegates Flip-Flop on Trade?

Interesting News: It seems that people do have a voice, however, it comes only during the time of the Presidential elections. For years, many people have felt that Free Trade has been a killer of American jobs (but have been unable to do anything about it). Exactly who has been AGAINST Free Trade for years? Progressive Democrats. Who has been FOR Free Trade? All Republicans (until now) and several big-business-friendly Democrats. Since the second Great Depression, there has been a slow growing resentment of Free Trade agreements. And, of course, now, both political parties are pandering for these discontented voters. For more about Free Trade, see my blog  entry: Why Free Trade is devastating to the USA.

Here are a couple of articles showing the current positions on Free Trade of the political parties.

Source: Tuesday Preview: Will RNC Delegates Flip-Flop on Trade? – Washington Wire – WSJ

Will RNC Delegates Flip-Flop on Trade – Wall Street Journal

Greetings from sunny Cleveland, where Republican Party delegates writing GOP platform will be in a windowless conference room to formally determine the party’s trade and immigration policies.

Headed into Tuesday, the big question on trade will be how far GOP Platform Committee delegates flip-flop on free trade. In 2012, the party formally called for enacting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. On Monday, delegates in a subcommittee stripped from the party platform draft language opposing passage of the TPP in the congressional lame-duck session this winter.

 Though Republican National Committee delegates will hash out the party’s platform this morning, the most likely outcome now appears to be sticking with a specific language condemning trade deficits without offering a position on either the North American Free Trade Agreement or the TPP, both of which presumptive nominee Donald Trump has promised to upend.

“There’s going to be nothing controversial in the platform because Republicans want to stay away from controversy,” said Justin Everett, a Platform Committee delegate from Colorado. “The true fight is going to be in the Rules Committee over our candidate.”

Republican Platform Subcommittee Follow Trump on Trade – Bloomberg Politics

Republican Platform Subcommittee Follows Trump on Trade – Bloomberg Politics

The Republican Party, which has long backed free trade, is poised to support slowing down approval of trade agreements with Donald Trump as its presumptive presidential nominee.

A party platform subcommittee on the economy, jobs and debt voted on Monday in Cleveland to recommend language that significant trade agreements should not be rushed or undertaken in a lame-duck Congress. It also removed a reference to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement at the request of members who oppose it and didn’t want any suggestion of support. The full Platform Committee, meeting in advance of the party’s convention next week, will vote on the provision either late Monday or Tuesday.

The 2012 Republican platform called international trade “crucial for our economy” and said a Republican president will complete negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership to open Asian markets to U.S. products. Trump’s stringent opposition to trade deals such as TPP — which he has called “a rape of our country” — pits him against some party stalwarts and pro-business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“I expected it to be contentious and it wasn’t,” Andrew Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc. and co-chairman of the subcommittee, said about the debate on trade. “People all seemed to be going toward the same goal here, which is to get our candidate elected.”

Democrats stopped short of calling for a “no” vote on TPP during their platform committee meetings this weekend. Delegates for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unsuccessfully pushed an amendment blocking TPP and urged that the trade deal not come to a vote in Congress.

The Republican Platform Committee sessions on Monday and Tuesday and Rules Committee later in the week are offering the first signs of how much turbulence Trump will face on his convention flight to the Republican presidential nomination on July 21.

Anti-Trump delegates are trying change party rules so that delegates who are bound by election results to back Trump can “vote their conscience” in Cleveland. Critics of the effort say that plan lacks the votes it needs and would thwart the will of about 13.3 million people who voted for Trump in the party’s primaries and caucuses.

Puzder, a Trump supporter whose company owns the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast-food chains, said he backs free trade and that there’s no disagreement that the U.S. needs it. Yet Trump regularly states that the country doesn’t need large trade deficits, that existing deals should be enforced, and that they can be improved with better terms has broad appeal.

 “Who can argue with, ‘We should have a better deal?”’ Puzder asked in an interview. “It has emerged in this election cycle that free trade is not the overwhelming popular issue it used to be because working-class Americans and middle-class Americas — whether accurately or inaccurately — perceive that they have borne the burdens of free trade, whereas other sectors of the economy have garnered the benefits.”

David Johnson, a member of the platform committee’s economic subcommittee, owns Summitville Tiles in eastern Ohio and said trade deals have decimated his company. It once had 800 workers and now is struggling to maintain 150, he said.

“Wall Street likes TPP, but the 70 percent of the people that are employed in this country by small businesses don’t like it,” Johnson said during the subcommittee meeting. He called trade a huge issue in the election as Trump seeks to appeal to working-class voters in states such as Ohio.


Republican Party Platform Takes a Hard Turn on Trade – Alliance for American Manufacturing

Republican Party Platform Takes a Hard Turn on Trade | Alliance for American Manufacturing

GOP’s official stance could be very “Trumpian.”

The Republicans are working out their official party platform right now. And CNN, an enterprising newsgathering upstart, got a hold of a first draft of the platform document.

A lot of its content is what you might call “the usual” from the GOP. But, as CNN notes:

The most substantial changes to the 2012 platform came on trade — a key issue for Trump where he has sparred with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other reliable conservative business backers. The new language sounds remarkably like Trump, though it stays away from some of his more inflammatory positions including renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Here’s a snippet of that language that is downright Trumpian:

We need better negotiated trade agreements that put America first. When trade agreements have been carefully negotiated with friendly democracies, they have resulted in millions of new jobs here at home supported by our exports. When those agreements do not adequately protect U.S. interests, or when they are violated with impunity, they must be rejected. We cannot allow foreign governments to limit American access to their markets while stealing our designs, patents, brands, know-how, and technology. We cannot allow China to continue its currency manipulation, exclusion of U.S. products from government purchases, and subsidization of Chinese companies to thwart American imports. The current administration’s way of dealing with these violations of world trade standards has been a virtual surrender.

That this is in the draft language of a bona fide GOP platform pretty remarkable. This kinda talk doesn’t go over well in some corners of the Republican establishment; the Chamber of Commerce is not a fan.

That’s not to say the free-trade-at-all-costs types are particularly enamored with Trump’s likely opponent, Hillary Clinton, either. The Democratic nominee has taken a trade-skeptical position this election season – presumably because her rival, Bernie Sanders, pushed her very hard on the issue.

And that’s not to say that either party has suddenly become vehemently opposed to trade deals: The platform committees for both rejected attempts to get anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership language into the drafts.

But still: The polling, particularly in swing states, backs up the calls for trade skepticism. Whether or not explicit, yes-or-no language is included in either party’s platforms, voters are clearly concerned that American jobs – often manufacturing jobs – are put at risk by our government’s current approach to trade policy.

If they weren’t, no one would be talking about this so seriously in 2016, and Donald Trump wouldn’t be poised to win the presidential nomination of the Republican party.

Anyway, the drafting continues. So let ’em know: Pro-manufacturing policy deserves a place in their platforms.

Editor’s Note

It is interesting that both political parties want to represent that they are AGAINST Free Trade Deals without actually coming out and officially opposing them. The GOP, who are the architects of these Free Trade agreements and champions of “Free Trade”, have suddenly become the “Trump Party”. Is the GOP all just full of hot air? One way to find out: the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Deal with Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Brunei, is sitting in Congress waiting to become law during the Lame Duck session (after election day).  Let us see which party calls for the rejection of the TPP. Will it be the GOP who really want it to pass or the Democrats who really don’t want it to pass, except President Obama who would like it to pass. What did the TPP vote in 2016 look like? The vote in the Senate: passed 60-38 (Yeas: 47 GOP, 13 Dems; Nays: 7 GOP, 31 Dems & Ind.). The House vote: The vote was 218-208 (Yeas: 190 GOP, 28 Dems, Nays: 50 GOP, 158 Dems).

Free Trade has, without a doubt, costs the United States millions of good paying jobs and changed the US trade surplus into a giant trade deficit. Buy American, support your neighbor and reject the TPP and these awful Free Trade Deals.

I would recommend the elimination of all Free Trade deals except with the countries that have the same standards as the USA like Canada, and Western Europe. Which party will do that? Stay tuned.


Hardwick Clothes – American Made Clothes

Hardwick Clothes

Hardwick Clothes is one of the oldest makers of fine menswear in the United States. It is still one of the few places where you can reliably buy men’s dress pants and suits made in the USA. They still make their clothing in Cleveland, Tennessee just like they first did back in 1880. They make quality clothing – which means it is not produced in extremely high volumes and therefore, you will not see them at every street corner. Hardwick Clothes can be found only through various high quality men’s stores throughout the USA, but can also be purchased on-line.

Summer Check Sport Coat Updated Bradley Fit

Summer Check Sport Coat
Updated Bradley Fit

A New Owner – A New Start

Hardwick Clothing was purchased in 2014 by Allan Jones, a prominent Cleveland, Tennessee, entrepreneur, who has made a commitment to keeping it made in the USA. Hardwick Clothing will by supplying the sports jackets for the 2016 Olympics to the NBC (male) newscasters.


Source: The Story of Hardwick Clothes, Inc. | Hardwick American Made Clothes

The Story of Hardwick Clothes, Inc.

Hardwick Woolen Mill


Hardwick Clothes, America’s oldest maker of tailored clothing, has called Cleveland, Tennessee, its home since 1880.

The company, which was originally named Cleveland Woolen Mills, was founded by local businessman C.L. Hardwick, who partnered with John H. Craigmiles, John H. Parker, P.B. Mayfield and Creed Bates to establish the firm. C.L. Hardwick owned several businesses in Cleveland, and he put his son, George L. Hardwick, in charge of running the mill.

Cleveland Woolen Mills found success with an innovative fabric known as “jean cloth,” woven from wool and cotton. The cloth was used to produce a popular product called “Dollar Pants.”

During its early years, the mill experienced a number of setbacks, including several fires, but bounced back each time by adding state-of-the-art machinery and expanding its operations.

In 1925, Cleveland Woolen Mills changed its name to Hardwick Woolen Mills, reflecting the Hardwick family’s increased stake in the company. Hardwick Woolen Mills had evolved into a vertical operation, weaving the wool yarn at one end of the factory, and assembling garments in the other, giving rise to the company motto: “From the sheep’s back to the clothing rack.”

Hardwick Clothes


During this time, Hardwick Woolen Mills was the largest facility of its kind, producing a wide selection of men’s and boys’ clothing. As America entered the Great Depression, unemployment and plummeting demand presented Hardwick Woolen Mills with the toughest challenge in its history. The company reduced costs by nimbly moving its sewing operations into workers’ homes during this time. Hardwick trucks delivered fabric to homes throughout Bradley County, and returned to transport the finished garments back to the factory.

In the 1940s, Hardwick Woolen Mills contributed to the war effort by manufacturing uniforms for the military. During the post-war years, demand for wool dropped with the introduction of synthetics, prompting Hardwick Woolen Mills to sell its woolen operations to focus solely on the men’s tailored-clothing market.

No longer operating as a private label, the company changed its name to Hardwick Clothes, Inc., and began marketing aggressively, rolling out its first advertising campaign. American consumers began to associate the Hardwick name with high-quality tailored menswear. Hardwick’s greatest success was its line of blazers, widely regarded as the best in the world.



Hardwick History


By the 1970s, Hardwick was once again seeking to modernize its operations. In 1974, the company moved from its original Church Street factory to a new, 175,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing plant on the outskirts of Cleveland. The expansive new facility and modernized manufacturing equipment helped Hardwick stay competitive against an increasing supply of cheap, offshore clothing.

Hardwick’s reputation for American-made quality has helped the company survive—and thrive—in the face of outsourcing and cost-cutting. This status has helped Hardwick land contracts with a wide range of large clients, including the U.S. military and Major League Baseball umpires.

Since its founding in 1880, Hardwick Clothes has endured factory fires, economic recessions, two World Wars, inflation and leisure suits. Despite these challenges, Hardwick Clothes has continued to produce unsurpassed suits, pants and jackets for men and women, operating successfully with pride and quality.

Since the turn of the millennium, Hardwick has continued to adapt to changing market conditions, expanding its base of department stores and specialty retailers.


Hardwicks Modern Factory

Buy American, keep your neighbor employed.


Can Fast Fashion Really Be Good? We Sat Down With H and M To Find Out.

Can the King of Fast Fashion, H & M, really be eco-friendly?

Can Fast Fashion Really Be Good? We Sat Down With H & M To Find Out

Source: Can Fast Fashion Really Be Good? We Sat Down With H&M To Find Out. (from aplus.com)

written by Danute Rasimaviciute

“Fashion and quality at the best price, in a sustainable way,” reads retail clothing behemoth H&M’s description on Facebook. But for many of us who know a thing or two about fashion and its supply chain, fast fashion is hardly synonymous with sustainability.

A couple of weeks ago we got a chance to sit down with Catarina Midby, H&M’s sustainable fashion advisor, backstage at Fashion-Culture-Design, an “unconference” at Parsons School Of Design here in New York City, after she flew in from London for a panel discussion with other industry experts. We got to discuss H&M’s sustainability efforts and tried to find an answer to a not-so-easy question:

Can fast fashion be manufactured responsibly?

H&M would like us to believe so.

As a company, H&M is focusing on and investing in sustainability more than any other fast-fashion retailer. This includes launching their Conscious collection back in 2013,  partnering up with The World Wide Fund for Nature on water conservation strategies, educating farmers on how to grow cotton that is better for the environment, and, most recently, launching World Recycle Week.

During the week, H&M aimed to collect 1,000 tons of unwanted garments and contribute towards closing the loop in fashion, “where old clothes can be turned into new ones.”

“We collected 1,100 tons of garments, so we reached our goal,” Midby told A Plus.

Catarina Midby, H&M's sustainable fashion advisor

Catarina Midby, H&M’s sustainable fashion advisor

“What is really good about the program is that normally when you go to Oxfam or Redcross — which is also great — they sell mainly for rewear,” she added. “Whereas with our partner, I:Collect, [H&M] can actually recycle 97% of what we collect […]. That way we can close the loop in fashion as we make new clothes out of the old ones.”

But Jennifer Gilbert, the Chief Marketing Officer of H&M’s partner I:Collect, had conflicting information on the topic. As she explained A Plus, only an extremely small portion of clothes can be recycled into new ones because the necessary technology doesn’t yet exist.

“Sixty percent of all the items we collect from our 60 partners worldwide is rewearable/reusable,” she told A Plus.

The rest is recycled into secondary materials like cleaning cloths, and processed to reclaim their fibers for insulation, carpet padding, and filling material. Only 2 percent can be technologically upcycled or fiber-to-fiber recycled and used for new clothes.

To have retailers offering a convenient way to either donate or recycle our unwanted garderobe pieces is fantastic. But to claim that H&M can close the loop in fashion is a stretch. A stretch of 98 percent, to be exact.

60%: Rewearable; 15%: Processed to secondary materials for new products like cleaning cloths; 20%: Processed to reclaim fibers for insulation material, carpet padding etc.; 2%: Fiber recycled to fiber; 3%: Waste

60%: Rewearable; 15%: Processed to secondary materials for new products like cleaning cloths; 20%: Processed to reclaim fibers for insulation material, carpet padding etc.; 2%: Fiber recycled to fiber; 3%: Waste

“H&M appears to amount to more of greenwashing, the promotion of green-based environmental initiatives or images without the implementation of business practices that significantly minimize environmental impact (or any of the other negative effects of their businesses) than actual changes,” Julie Zerbo, the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Fashion Law, who also participated in the  Fashion-Culture-Design panel discussion with Midby, told A Plus in an email. “Their recent Recycling Week […] is just one example of the big game they speak and fail to back up in the ways they promise.

But Zerbo is not the only one in the industry who is skeptical of H&M’s Recycle Week efforts.

Julie Zerbo, Catarina Midby, Dominic Rushe and Julie Gilhard at Fashion-Culture-Design conference.

Julie Zerbo, Catarina Midby, Dominic Rushe and Julie Gilhard at Fashion-Culture-Design conference.

“Using publicly available figures and average clothing weights, it appears it would take 12 years for H&M to use up 1,000 tons of fashion waste,” writes The Guardian‘s Lucy Siegle. “Meanwhile, if 1,000 tons is recycled, that roughly equates to the same amount of clothes a brand of this size pumps out into the world in 48 hours.”

In an interview with A plus, Midby, however, seemed to question Siegle’s calculations.

“Lucy Siegle is very anti-H&M, unfortunately,” Midby said. “I don’t know on what she bases [her calculations] on. [….] We work quite scientifically.”

While Siegle did not reveal her exact sources in the interest of protecting their professional privacy, she walked A Plus through her calculations. These are based on how many pieces of clothing would be in 1000 tons of garments, and how many years it would take them to recycle all of them into textile fibre at the rate of 20 percent per new garment, the figure stated in H&M’s sustainability report, and their ambition of 1.2 million pieces a year.

“I have a huge love for supply chain innovation and fresh strong authentic sustainability marketing and I love profiling brands that do this,” Siegle said. “Indeed I have done this throughout my career. Unlike many green and social justice writers, I believe sustainability marketing is important. It can, when authentic and deeply rooted be a major force in the transition to a sustainable economy. When initiatives, programs, whatever you want to call them don’t add up, over claim or set out to distract in a very high profile way, it damages that whole transition.”

Being eco-friendly, however, is not the only issue facing H&M as a fast-fashion retailer.

There’s also the issue the of providing textile workers in South East Asia a fair living wage, working in conditions that do not endanger their lives, and equitable  job contracts.

“We believe that [everyone] working for H&M — even if you don’t work [for us directly] and are producing [H&M] clothes [in our supplier factories] — should earn a fair living wage, [have] good working conditions, which we are really committed to fulfilling,” Midby said.

But it looks like H&M still has a long way to go to achieve this.

Back in 2013, the company announced its ambition to pay fair living wages by 2018 to their strategic suppliers. These suppliers currently produce 60 percent of their garments. While the salaries of strategic suppliers in Cambodia have indeed increased to $187.97 a month, garment workers said they would require $230 “to live with dignity.

There’s also the fact that H&M picked only suppliers that are already above the industry’s standard for the program and committed to fair living wages without clearly defining what they actually were.

“But how can we say what’s a fair living wage?” Midby asks. “That’s not our place […]. We can strengthen the workers [and their skill development,] but we can’t dictate.”

Jason South / Fairfax Media / Getty Images

Jason South / Fairfax Media / Getty Images

We also discussed Sweatshop, an award-winning Norwegian documentary-style TV show featured on A Plus that follows four Scandinavian fashion bloggers around Cambodia as they expose the less than glamorous origins of fast fashion. In one of the episodes, exploited textile workers in Cambodia admit to manufacturing clothes for H&M and talk about unsafe working conditions, salaries that do not provide enough for food, the use of short-term contracts for years on end, and the practice of not renewing contracts for women who become pregnant.

“We are, of course, shocked [about what emerges in the series] too,” Midby said. “Our suppliers have to comply with our code of conduct […]. We do not accept discrimination of any kind, we do not accept termination of employment for pregnancy reasons for instance. So that is something that would be totally violating the code of conduct. It’s shocking.”

But as Zerbo argues, it is extremely convenient for H&M to blame their suppliers and argue that they are not liable as they don’t own any of the factories.

“Legally they may not be, but that does not mean that they are not ethically in the wrong,” she said in an email. “This has been a go-to excuse for many retailers when tragedies occur. My research, which has included speaking with reporters on the ground in Bangladesh and Cambodia, has revealed that a noteworthy number of suppliers have begun to address health and safety inadequacies in their factories. Factory owners have, in fact, begun investing in mechanisms to improve working conditions in response to the numerous garment factory incidents in the low-cost markets, such as Bangladesh and Cambodia. However, the implementation of such necessary measures – such as proving adequate fire exits, ventilation, first aid kits, water and working bathrooms for their employees (some of the most basic improvements) — requires monetary investments.”

As a result, the output from these factories comes at an increased cost, according to Zerbo. Because fast-fashion retailers are generally unwilling to cut into their own bottom lines, most have opted to source only from those offering the lowest-cost items — ones that have done little, if anything — to provide safe workspaces.

In 2013, facing strong international pressure, H&M was the first brand to sign a commitment to create a garment industry in Bangladesh “in which no worker needs to fear fires, building collapses, or other accidents that could be prevented with reasonable health and safety measures.” The move came after the Rana Plaza tragedy, in which more than 1,200 garment workers died in Bangladesh when a building of factories collapsed due to non-existent health and safety standards.

Midby assures us that H&M is committed to having their clothes manufactured in safe conditions and working only with suppliers that comply with their code of conduct. But coming up on the three-year anniversary of the tragedy, H&M had yet to to install fire escapes in first-tier supplier factories. Fires leaving workers injured at H&M supplier factories in Bangladesh and deaths of garment workers in the industry continue to be reported, including numerous incidents in 2016.

So is this really “fashion and quality at the best price, in a sustainable way” as H&M claims? We’ll let the facts speak for themselves.


Editor’s Comment
Can Walmart be eco-friendly? Technically no. And neither can H & M. When you deal with huge volumes, there is no way you can be eco-friendly. These businesses can be only be less eco-destructive and that is it. I think it is great that H & M is taking their unbought-extremely-cheap-garments, recycle them and then try to sell it to you a second time.
Look at it another way: H & M dumps 1,000 tons of new cheap clothes all over the world in 48 hours. To recycle that same 1,000 tons of clothing, it would take them 14 years to do so. H & M is not even close to being eco-friendly.

Liberty BottleWorks – The Only USA-Made Metal Bottles. Sustainably Produced and Food-Grade

For Independence Day, what a better way to celebrate than to showcase a company with the name “Liberty” –  Liberty BottleWorks. Liberty BottleWorks produces a very unique product – water bottles made of metal and Made in the USA. Liberty Bottles are the ONLY USA-made metal bottle. They are high quality, long lasting, beautiful bottles we all can be proud of. They also make some clothing. Come and let’s visit some of their bottle designs. Thanks to Made Right (here): Not Made in China Challenge for highlighting this company. Remember to buy American, hire your neighbor.

Source: Liberty BottleWorks – The Only USA-Made Metal Bottles. Sustainably Produced and Food-Grade

Liberty was Built out of Respect

Liberty is committed to and respects the American Dream. It started with our great, great, great grandparents. They did what needed to be done; they helped those in need; they made life better. These lessons were learned, kept, fought and even died for. That’s what we are doing. We promote people, not profit; we protect the environment, not harm it; we make high quality, long lasting, artistically enhanced bottles we all can be proud of. With Liberty, life is better.

First off, since this is a blog about clothing a couple of examples of shirts:

Taiga Women's Tshirt

Hide and Seek T Shirt

Hide and Seek T Shirt



Liberty bottles are divided into different designs: Plain, Topo (for Topographical), Freedom, Spirits, Seasonal, Team, Kids, Artist.

The first one is from Team:

Golden State

Golden State

Next from the Freedom category:

W.O.W. Flag

W.O.W. Flag

Next one from the Spirits section:

Mountain Fresh

Mountain Fresh

Here is from the Topo category:



Here are a few from the artist category:









Customize Your Own New Balance shoes

Customize Your Own New Balance Shoes

New Balance are the only athletic shoes still made in the USA. New Balance has numerous models of shoes (not all made in the USA) but have allowed that you could customize the colors of several models (990, 998 and 574) to your liking.

In honor of Independence day, I have designed some of the shoes for the Fourth of July.

Red White and Blue Model 998

Red White and Blue Model 990

Or you can customize the 998

RWBOr the model 574

New Balance Model 574

New Balance Model 574

But. you don’t have to be patriotic. You can customize it with your favorite team colors:

Orange and Black SF Giants

Orange and Black- San Francisco Giants.

One more item, you can have writing placed on the tongues, however, I do not believe that New Balance will allow you to use a trademarked logo. You can spell out their names, or put on Made in USA or your name, etc.

Golden State Warriors colors 998

Golden State Warriors colors 998 model

It is fun to design your own shoe. Give it a shot. Go to the New Balance website and have fun.


Donald Trump Has Long Benefited From Trade Practices He Now Scorns – The New York Times

As a businessman, Mr. Trump has relied on the type of cheap foreign labor that he vows to clamp down on if elected president.

Source: Donald Trump Has Long Benefited From Trade Practices He Now Scorns – The New York Times

Trump Lays Out Plans on Trade

Donald J. Trump, speaking on Tuesday in Monessen, Pa., promised to renegotiate international trade deals if elected president.

By REUTERS. Watch in Times Video »

Donald J. Trump vowed on Tuesday that as president, he would put an end to policies that send American jobs overseas, threatening to impose tariffs on Chinese imports and promising to punish companies that relocate their manufacturing to countries with cheaper labor.

“It will be American hands that remake this country,” said Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, standing before a hunk of aluminum at a recycling plant in western Pennsylvania.

But such declarations are at odds with Mr. Trump’s long history as a businessman, in which he has been heavily — and proudly — reliant on foreign labor in the name of putting profits, rather than America, first. From cheap neckties to television sets, Mr. Trump has benefited from some of the trade practices he now scorns.

Far-flung apparel

Besides construction, Mr. Trump is big in the clothing business. But most of his line of suits, ties and cuff links bear a “Made in China” label. Some also come from factories in Bangladesh, Mexico and Vietnam. He has blamed China’s currency manipulation to argue that it is almost impossible to find garments that are made domestically these days, or that they are prohibitively expensive.

“The answer is very simple,” Mr. Trump told ABC News when asked about his merchandise in 2011. “Because of the fact that China so manipulates their currency, it makes it almost impossible for American companies to compete.”

Despite that claim, some companies such as Brooks Brothers continue to make clothes in the United States.

Furniture from abroad

In 2013, Mr. Trump teamed with Dorya, a Turkish maker of luxury furniture, for his Trump Home brand. In a news release at the time, the Trump Organization promoted the craftsmanship of the pieces, which furnish some of Mr. Trump’s hotels.

“The entire production process, from the moment the raw wood is cut until the product is finished or upholstered occurs in Dorya’s Izmir, Turkey, production facility,” the release said.

Mr. Trump also invested in a line of crystal bearing his name to go with his Trump Home line. The collection was produced in Slovenia, the home of his wife, Melania. Mr. Trump told The New York Times in 2010 that the production facilities were first class.

“I’ve seen factories over there; their glass and crystal works are unbelievable,” he said.

Putting Romanians and Poles to work

Mr. Trump has not held back when it comes to his concern that undocumented immigrants are taking jobs from American workers, but he has used them on occasion.

In 1980, a contractor hired by Mr. Trump to demolish the Bonwit Teller building in New York and make way for Trump Tower used undocumented Polish immigrants who reportedly worked round-the-clock and even slept at the site. Mr. Trump said that he did not know they were undocumented and later settled a lawsuit over the matter.

Last summer, The Washington Post found that Mr. Trump was using undocumented immigrants for the construction of his Trump International Hotel at the site of the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington.

And The Times reported this year that Mr. Trump had employed hundreds of foreign guest workers from Romania and other countries at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Mr. Trump said that he found it difficult to find qualified local people to work there during the high season.

For outsourcing before he was against it

While Mr. Trump has for years railed against trade and currency policies that he says are unfair, he has not always been opposed to outsourcing.

Writing on the Trump University blog in 2005, Mr. Trump acknowledged that foreign labor was sometimes needed to keep American companies from going out of business.

“If a company’s only means of survival is by farming jobs outside its walls, then sometimes it’s a necessary step,” Mr. Trump wrote. “The other option might be to close its doors for good.”

Mr. Trump usually makes the case that foreign labor is necessary to keep production costs down, but in an interview with David Letterman in 2012 he also offered a humanitarian argument for outsourcing. Teased for selling dress shirts that were made in Bangladesh, Mr. Trump expressed pride that he was creating jobs around the world.

“That’s good, we employ people in Bangladesh,” Mr. Trump said. “They have to work, too.”

Many of us knew that Donald Trump was having his clothing made in other countries such as China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Mexico. However, many of us didn’t know that he also has his Trump Home furniture and crystal made out of the country. And often used foreign workers to construct and to work in his Trump hotels. Donald Trump says he is like Bernie Sanders in one respect – it is against Free Trade. The difference is Bernie Sanders has been against it since NAFTA came out in 1994. Donald Trump came out against it in October, 2015.

Trump Free Trader


American flag sales bask in new glory

In honor of the Fourth of July.

American flag sales bask in new glory this year from a surge in politics and patriotism.

Source: American flag sales bask in new glory

American Flag Sales Bask in New Glory

MILWAUKEE — In the flag business, summertime is like Christmas. After Memorial Day weekend, there’s Flag Day (June 14) and the Fourth of July, which all give sales a healthy boost.

Eder Flag Manufacturing Co. in Oak Creek says it’s having a banner year. Sales are up 15% from a year ago, partly from 2016 being a national election year and political events needing flags.

An improved construction industry has helped, too, as new buildings often get new flags.

“Most importantly, we feel there’s a rise in patriotism,” said Jodi Goglio, chief operating officer at Eder, a company that has been making flags for more than a century and dates to 1887 when the Eder family started a business making pillows, felt pennants, rag dolls and hunting jackets.

For many flag companies, sales soared following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Eder made the flag that firefighters grabbed from a yacht and raised at New York’s ground zero on Sept. 11, a scene immortalized in a now iconic photo.

In the week following the attacks, Eder sold more than 3 million flag-related items — mostly flags but also things like flag lapel buttons. People stood in line for hours to buy a flag, and the company worked day and night to meet the demand.

“It was all hands on deck. Everyone pitched in wherever there was a need,” Goglio recalled.

The original flag in the Sept. 11 photo has been lost, and documentary filmmakers have spent years trying to track it down.

Flag sales drooped in the recession, partly from a drop in construction of new buildings and reductions in spending at many locations.

Now, with heated elections and patriotism, sales are on the mend. In the flag business, sales reflect the political state of affairs regardless of party affiliation.

“We don’t expect a decrease anytime soon. We feel it’s going to continue,” Goglio said.

Eder sells American flags, state flags, the flags of other nations and custom flags and banners.

The most popular versions of Old Glory measure about 3-by-5 feet, although the company has flags in stock measuring 50-by-80 feet, and it can make even larger ones on special order.

Eder keeps up with trends in banners but remains conservative when it comes to the American flag.

“We sell a very traditional product. If you looked at pictures from the 1940s and now, it’s very similar. We make a handcrafted product,” Goglio said.

An Eder flag measuring 50-by-80 feet weighs 119 pounds and is hand-sewn. Even the stars are placed by hand.

The company has 120 production employees, including flag makers who do hand embroidery and create banners for every nation in the world.

“It’s just amazing to see the personal touch they put into creating our product. We are really proud of that,” Goglio said.

One thing Eder won’t do is make offensive or controversial flags.

Last year, it stopped making and selling the Confederate flag following a wave of public reaction against the symbol of the Confederacy.

Likewise, it bothers Goglio to see someone flying a U.S. flag that’s damaged and should be retired with dignity.

“I think it mars the meaning of the flag,” she said.

Millions of U.S. flags are made in China, but Eder makes its banners in Oak Creek using American-sourced materials.

The company’s longtime owner, the late Eugene Eder, was a World War II veteran who believed strongly in fighting against bigotry, hatred and tyranny.

His experience in the U.S. Navy, along with the passion for flag-making instilled by his father, Morris, convinced him that American flags should be made in America.

“I feel as if there’s a growing demand for domestic-made goods in general. We are very proud to supply a symbol of the country made in the USA,” Goglio said.

Eder sells its flags through 5,000 independent dealerships, including the Flag Center, which has stores in Oak Creek and Wauwatosa.

Sales at the Flag Center are up from 2015, according to the company, partly from new construction that’s fueled a demand for both flagpoles and banners.

“Also, this year in particular, Wisconsin is in play politically. So we have done a lot of business with the campaigns on both sides of the aisle,” said Flag Center owner Tom Pluster.

Recently, Pluster’s business installed a 70-foot aluminum flagpole at the governor’s mansion in Maple Bluff, after the previous pole was damaged by years of exposure to the wind.

In the flag business, every day brings a different challenge.

A crane service was used to remove the old flagpole at the governor’s mansion and lift it over the building.

“That was a lot of fun,” Pluster said.

7:21 p.m. EDT May 29, 2016

Follow Rick Barrett on Twitter: rbarrettJS

July 2016
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