Goods from Ivanka Trump’s fashion line exempted from China tariffs

By @chelean on
U.S. President Donald Trump introduces his daughter Ivanka to speak during a visit to H&K Equipment Company in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, January 18, 2018.
U.S. President Donald Trump introduces his daughter Ivanka to speak during a visit to H&K Equipment Company in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, January 18, 2018. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

The US has announced to impose taxes on more import products from China following the Asian giant’s tariff response to the Trump administration’s first tariff implementation against Beijing. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump’s products for her fashion line are spared from the tariffs.

Last week, Trump enacted tariffs on US$34 billion (AU$46 billion) worth of Chinese goods that affect hundreds of products. These products include hundreds of products ranging from different sectors, such as auto and aircraft parts to medical devices. But as South China Morning Post notes, clothing and shoes were unaffected.

And this is convenient for Ivanka, whose eponymous fashion line is said to be made from China. Chengdu Kameido Shoes in Sichuan province told the paper that it had supplied shoes for the Ivanka Trump brand in the past and it planned to do so. A spokesperson said it was trying to win a contract for the Ivanka brand, bidding to supply 140,000 pairs of shoes.

Another company, Hangzhou HS Fashion from Zhejiang province, said it was also still taking orders for Ivanka’s line. It reportedly manufactures products for the First Daughter’s company through intermediary G-III Apparel Group.

Chris Rogers, a research director at global trade data tracking company Panjiva, said that Ivanka Trump’s products were made in factories in China and Hong Kong until January 2017. But since then, manufacturing has reportedly been moved to other Asian countries, namely in Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam. And while there have been no apparent shipments to the fashion line from China since mid-March, Rogers said it could be that Ivanka’s company had the products moved under code names.

The Office of the US Trade Representative has previously explained that the goods to be levied with tariffs where chosen based on what would disrupt the US economy the least.

New set of tariffs

Following Friday’s announcement of the tariffs, China immediately responded with its own tariffs on US goods, also worth US$34 billion. Not to be outdone, the US retaliated with another set of goods that it would impose tariffs on.

On Tuesday, the Trump administration has once again said it is preparing another round of tariffs to be imposed on Chinese goods worth US$200 billion (AU$270 billion). Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said there were thousands of additional goods that could face 10 percent tariffs, including agricultural products like fruits and vegetables.

“For over a year, the Trump Administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market and engage in true market competition,” Lightizer said in a statement. “We have been very clear and detailed regarding the specific changes China should undertake. Unfortunately, China has not changed its behaviour, behaviour that puts the future of the US economy at risk.

“Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against US products. There is no justification for such action.”