In another ethical mess, tariffs announced by the Trump administration exclude Ivanka Trump's company, but will raise costs for some of her competitors.
A provision in the tariffs announced by the Trump administration will conveniently hurt Ivanka Trump’s business competitors, while leaving her company unscathed.
The arrangement highlights yet again the immense ethical problems involved in Ivanka’s role in her father’s administration. Like Donald Trump, she has refused to divest from her private holdings while employed in the White House.
From her position as a senior adviser, she can influence major policy decisions and then profit from those same decisions.
China announced tariffs on American goods in response to the initial announcement on Trump tariffs. In a tit-for-tat move, heralding a trade war, the Trump administration announced tariffs on some Chinese goods.
The administration created a list of goods that would be excluded from the tariffs. Citing a desire to have “the lowest consumer impact,” the list includes goods like clothing and toys. Ivanka’s company specializes in clothing and holds trademarks in China, so it would avoid the tariffs.
But many of her competitors aren’t so lucky.
While the clothing companies themselves will not be hit by tariffs, the Washington Post reports that much of the machinery used in production of footwear and clothing will be hurt. Particularly, those companies manufacturing their goods in America will be impacted.
Rick Helfenbein, chief executive of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, told the Washington Post, “This would directly raise costs on domestic manufacturers and impact our ability to grow Made in USA.”
Conveniently, Ivanka Trump’s clothing company makes most of its products overseas. While her father has made loud proclamations about returning manufacturing to the United States, she has profited for years from foreign labor.
So companies competing against her line of clothing will face increased costs if they manufacture goods in America, while Ivanka Trump’s company dodges the tariffs and won’t see her costs go up because she outsources.
For the Trump family, the arrangement is a win-win. The same cannot be said for consumers or American businesses, including farmers.
In a recent radio interview, Donald Trump said there would be “pain” for Americans as a result of his tariff push, adding, “we may take a hit.”
But there’s no “hit” for Ivanka Trump’s company. There won’t be any “pain.” Just another convenient and unethical arrangement emanating from the White House, where decisions are being made that enrich one family while hurting millions of others.