Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign might still use the “Make America Great Again” slogan, but some of the merch says “Made In China.”
Li Jiang, the owner of a flag-making company that reportedly made flags for both Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016, told NPR’s “The Indicator” podcast that his company is already busily creating blue and white flags touting Trump-Pence 2020.
Trump will need thousands of the hats and flags for his 2020 campaign, NPR reported, and the easiest and most efficient way to do this is by having them made in China — even if the two countries are battling through massive tariffs on trade right now.
“We are not so worried, because first of all we have a big price advantage over our competitors,” Li told NPR on Tuesday. “And our clients are very smart. They would always go to the cheapest place. If China is cheap, they go to China. If America is cheap, they go to America.”
Trump merchandise does well for Chinese retailers. From roosters and hats to toilets and costumes, Chinese retailers are obsessed with Donald Trump–branded merch. But a campaign official told VICE News that they did not order these flags. He said 100 percent of the official campaign merchandise is made in the U.S.A.
So, despite Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, which urges Americans to use U.S.-made steel and iron, lots of campaign merchandise with his name on it will also say “Made in China.”
The Trump-Pence 2020 campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from VICE News, but they have pledged to buy in America. The committee organizing Trump’s re-election campaign, said in a statement last year that all of their products will be produced in the states.
It’s a sensitive issue for Trump, who faced criticism for some of his products being made overseas, including his ties, beverages, hotel items and much more. When he announced his bid for president during the 2016 election, he came under fire for some of his Make America Great Again hats being made in China, even though the campaign's official merchandise was “proudly made in USA.”
Update 4:39 p.m. 7/5: This article has been updated to include comment from the Trump campaign.
Cover image: Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather for what was billed as 'The Mother of all Rallies' on September 16, 2017 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)