President Donald Trump has recently started a trade war against China, hammering tariffs on its imports to America. However, Trump may be relying on the exact Chinese businesses he’s condemning to help with his 2020 re-election campaign.
In an interview with NPR on July 3, factory owner Li Jiang said his factory has already started producing Trump 2020 flags, complete with “Made in China” labeling.
When asked if he thought it was strange to be making flags for the president, Li responded, “It is completely normal. And that is trade. We buy stuff from America, and America is buying stuff from China.”
China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, making it easier for global trade to and from the country. Recently, Trump has been sending mixed signals about the future of American involvement in the WTO.
“We were at a big disadvantage with the WTO,” Trump told journalists in the Oval Office on July 2. “We’re not planning anything now, but if they don’t treat us properly, we will be doing something.”
Trump has promoted buying American throughout his presidency, even issuing an executive order to “buy American and hire American” in April 2017.
Shortly after, Trump’s re-election committee said in a statement that “the president’s 2020 re-election campaign committee has proudly produced and manufactured all of our merchandise right here in America from day one.”
Li, who made campaign flags for both the Trump and Clinton campaigns in 2016, said, “We also make flags for Trump for 2020. It seems like he has another campaign going on in 2020.”
However, as Business Insider pointed out, it is unclear from Li’s interview if the flag orders came directly from Trump’s re-election committee.
Li said he makes “around a hundred thousand” flags of all kinds per day. Despite Trump’s shaky relationship with Chinese trade, there are no tariffs on flags yet.