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On Friday, the Trump administration imposed new tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, including auto parts, medical devices, and boats. Not included in the list was clothing, as noticed in a report by Politico and the South China Morning Post.
While China produces a third of all clothing worn in the U.S. and 72 percent of all shoes, according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association, it did not seem to be important enough to be part of Trump’s trade war.
President Donald Trump‘s daughter, Ivanka Trump, manufactures much of her line in China and, as it just so happens, her company has an outstanding order that a Chinese manufacturing company is bidding on.
Chengdu Kameido Shoes in Sichuan province said it had supplied shoes for the Ivanka Trump brand in the past and was aiming to do so again.
“We are trying win a contract with one of our customers,” a Kameido representative said. “The entire order is for the Ivanka brand.”
The representative said the company was bidding to supply 140,000 pairs of shoes. In the past, the company had fulfilled orders for at least 10,000 pairs for the brand.
Although there’s no smoking gun, it was enough for people to holler online about the conflict of interest.
Tariff's are hurting the #MiddleClass, #workingclass, #poor, #HarleyDavidson and #NC Rural Farmers @realDonaldTrump. Guess who is not hurt by these #Tariffs? Ivanka Trump. The company who manufacture's her shoes Chengdu Kameido Shoes in Sichuan Province in China. #nc08 #nc8— Scott Huffman (@ElectScottNC08) July 9, 2018
Why aren’t Ivanka’s crappy clothes and shoes affected by tariffs? Nepotism much? You’re a criminal con and need to resign #LockHimUp— Snowflake1 (@Snowfla08935019) July 9, 2018
So, you don't think this administration is self-dealing? I wonder why shoes and apparel are exempted from the tariffs? Oh wait....Ivanka's line and Donald's clothing line are both made in China. Coincidence? I think not.... https://t.co/3tdcltD4bv— Therealjellyman (@jellyman) July 8, 2018
Medical supplies tariffed by Trump on last Friday except for his daughter’s Ivanka’s shoes! Sad but true !— Earl Williams (@Godisgood4real) July 9, 2018
So @realDonaldTrump exempted clothing and shoes from his #TradeWars— Jamie Carter ❄ #NovemberIsComing (@JCTheResistance) July 7, 2018
Of course he did. Since @IvankaTrump
And him get all their stuff made there
As trade war rages, the shoe biz goes on for Ivanka Trump and her Chinese suppliers https://t.co/gfGRj16DYy via @politico
Ivanka, who is a White House adviser, could have theoretically consulted her father on what to implement tariffs on, which could then have an impact on her portfolio.
So while it’s purely speculative that the exemption was designed to help his daughter, it’s is another example of the Trumps’ unprecedented entanglement of politics and business as usual.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]