Money

Trump says ‘China is screwing us’ but abandons U.S. steelworkers for China-made products

Donald Trump “has been stiffing American steel workers on his own construction projects for years, choosing to deprive untold millions of dollars from four key electoral swing states and instead directing it to China.”

That’s according to a new report in Newsweek from Kurt Eichenwald published this Monday.

Eichenwald writes that Trump has successfully duped blue collar workers into believing that he’s the candidate who’ll “fight off U.S. trade adversaries and reinvigorate the country’s manufacturing industries.” But Eichenwald’s investigation reveals that in at least two of his last three construction projects, Trump bought his steel and aluminum from Chinese manufacturers.

In other instances, he abandoned steel altogether, instead choosing the far-less-expensive option of buying concrete from various companies, including some linked to the Luchese and Genovese crime families. Trump has never been accused of engaging in any wrongdoing for his business dealings with those companies, but it’s true that the Mafia has long controlled much of the concrete industry in New York.

Trump touts his business decisions as proof of his financial genius. But as Eichenwald points out, “with the exception of one business that collapsed into multiple bankruptcies, Trump does not operate a public company; he has no fiduciary obligation to shareholders to obtain the highest returns he can.”

Trump’s decisions to avoid American manufacturers for his projects only served to enrich himself and his family.

For example, when Trump purchased materials through a Chinese entity like Ossen Innovation Co. Ltd., the financial benefits reached even the Chinese government.

…Ossen corporate records show Chinese banks provide all of its short-term financing in the form of loans that almost all mature after one year, and then are replaced by new loans; most Chinese banks are arms of the state, tightly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, and provide financing to companies that are competitors to American manufacturers in other industries.

Eichenwald is careful to point out that Trump hasn’t broken any laws by purchasing from China and using Chinese factories for the production of his clothing lines.

But, given the only beneficiaries of his decisions to go with cheaper Chinese metals for his construction project are Trump and his family, he is not someone who ever attempted to lead by example by only buying products made in America.

You can read Kurt Eichenwald’s full report at Newsweek here.

 Featured image: Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

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