FACT SHEET: Trump Failed To ‘Buy American’

Trump promised to make more products in the USA and boost American manufacturing, but he failed. Instead, manufacturing fell into a recession, Trump incentivized offshoring, and his “buy American” agenda made no meaningful difference.

Trump promised to make more products in the USA, but instead American manufacturing fell into a recession.

  • On the campaign, Trump said “I want products to be made in our country and I’m gonna bring companies back,” and as president he said he “believes in two simple rules: Buy American and hire American.”

  • Instead, manufacturing output shrank and the industry was in a recession for all of 2019. Manufacturing represents the smallest share of the economy in 72 years.

Under Trump’s policies, companies are moving jobs and factories overseas while investment in America declines.

  • Despite his promises, companies moved jobs overseas during Trump’s presidency. In Trump’s first year alone, nearly 200,000 jobs moved overseas.

  • Trump’s tax law failed to slow offshoring and even included new incentives for companies to relocate assets like factories overseas.

  • Trump failed to boost investment in our country. Foreign investment grew at a slower annual pace during Trump’s first two years than under President Obama and fell 37.7% last year.

Trump’s “buy American” orders have done little to boost American manufacturing.

  • Trump signed a “Buy American, hire American” executive order in 2017, but it made no real difference and was never clear on what, if anything, it changed.

  • Trump signed an executive order last year encouraging recipients of federal financial assistance to use U.S. materials, but it included no enforcement mechanisms.

  • Trump signed another symbolic executive order last year to increase requirements for a product to be labeled Made in America, but it did nothing to boost the struggling American steel industry.

  • Trump’s Federal Trade Commission failed to crack down on companies determined to have falsely labeled goods as American made.

When it comes to his businesses, Trump doesn’t make things in America.

  • Trump has sold Trump-branded products that were made in at least 12 foreign countries and two of Trump’s most recent construction products used Chinese steel and aluminum. Even after he took office, the Trump Organization began to sell new merchandise made in China and Bangladesh.

  • Ivanka Trump-branded merchandise was manufactured in countries including China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. U.S. imports of her products surged as Ivanka and her father moved into the White House.

  • The factories manufacturing Ivanka Trump-branded merchandise paid workers low wages and forced them to work long hours – at least one violated Chinese overtime limits.