Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Donald Trump, has an exclusive line of shoes for working class women.
Most of those shoes are made in China, a fact which Donald Trump’s opponents are fond of pointing out to rebut his promises to bring back manufacturing jobs to America.
The Chinese shoe manufacturer that produces for Ivanka Trump, Huajian Group, discussed this week plans to relocate the company’s production to Ethiopia, where labor is much cheaper. That means that Trump shoes could soon be made in Ethiopia.
Zhang Huarong told the French news agency AFP that they are building a ‘light industrial city’ that will have production facilities, dorms, and its own hospital in Addis Ababa. The complex, as has been its standard, is meant to be in shape of a woman’s shoe and Zhang also gave an estimate of the amount of jobs the complex could create and how it could add to Ethiopia’s export quota. He said;
“My goal is to create 30,000 jobs in Ethiopia by 2020, with exports reaching $1 billion to $1.5 billion,”
Ivanka Trump’s company is yet to comment on the move but the shoe company is said to have supplied about 100,000 pairs to Ivanka Trump collection.
This move is further evidence of Ethiopia’s emergence as Africa’s biggest hub for textile manufacturing. Already, companies like H&M and Primark have started buying apparel from Ethiopia. These companies are taking advantage of cheaper production costs and the government’s investment in industrial zones.
A made-in-Ethiopia line of shoes would conflict even more with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign promises as he has mentioned measures like imposing a 45% tariff on goods made in China so America’s economy can benefit from the externally manufactured goods.
However, under the recently renewed African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), goods made in Ethiopia are exempt from US import duties when certain labor and other criteria are met.