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U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez says Donald Trump does a fine job of creating jobs - in China.
Perez made that dig in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch shortly before he gave the keynote speech at the Democratic Party of Virginia’s Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner on June 18.
"Go look at a Trump product. They’re all made in China," Perez said.
No doubt, many Trump products are made overseas, a point the presumptive GOP presidential nominee has acknowledged in debates and interviews.
Perez went a few leaps beyond that in saying all Trump products are made in China. So we checked to see whether the secretary is right.
We asked Perez’s office for the source of his information. Mattie Munoz, his press secretary at the Department of Labor, said that since his comments were made on private time during a political event, she couldn’t comment. She suggested contacting Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, which in turn forwarded our request to the Democratic Party of Virginia.
Emily Bolton, a state Democratic Party spokeswoman, said she couldn’t comment on Perez’s statement but sent us links to a series of articles about Trump products that are made overseas.
So we set out on our own window-shopping spree, eying items listed on The Trump Organization’s website and searching for where they are manufactured.
We found that many Trump items are made in China, including cuff links, sport coats, shirts, eyeglasses, lamps and mirrors.
It’s impossible to get an exact read on what percentage of items are from China, because many items don’t disclose their exact origin. Some listed on Amazon.com and other shopping websites merely say that they’re "imported."
We emailed the Trump campaign twice to see what percentage of his products are made in China but didn’t get a response.
China isn’t the only country that makes Trump products. The billionaire candidate acknowledged during a June 21 interview on ABC that his company manufactures neckties in China, suits in Mexico, furniture in Turkey, and barware in Slovenia.
We found that some Trump ties were made in Indonesia and Vietnam in addition to China. Many Trump shirts were made in Bangladesh, and some sport coats were made in India.
If you’re wondering, some Trump products also are made in the U.S., including the candidate’s iconic "Make America Great Again" baseball cap, which is manufactured in California. PunditFact gave a Pants on Fire rating in October to a claim made by Twitter users that the hats were made in China.
Here are some other Trump products that we found are manufactured in the U.S.:
•bedding comforters, advertised as being "master suite worthy";
•cologne, called "Success by Trump";
•Trump Natural Spring Water, served at Trump facilities. It’s bottled in Willington, Conn. by the Village Springs water company; and
•Trump Wine, made on a 1,300-acre estate near Charlottesville. A disclaimer on the winery website says the GOP presidential candidate doesn’t personally own the winery, which is run by his son, Eric.
We also found a few Trump suits online that were made in the U.S.
Trump has said he’d like to make more products domestically, but the U.S. can’t compete with foreign countries that "manipulate their currencies" to reduce manufacturing costs.
Trump’s overseas product lines have become a central campaign issue for Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee. In a June 21 speech, she accused the GOP candidate of hypocrisy for outsourcing his own products.
Perez said Trump’s products are "all made in China."
There’s an element of truth to his statement in that Trump clearly relies on China to produce many products -- ties, shirts, cuff links, sport coats, jackets, lamps, eyeglasses and mirrors. That buttresses the labor secretary’s broader point that Trump relies on foreign labor to produce much of his product line.
But Perez goes too far in saying all of Trump’s products are made in China. They come from a lot of other places as well.
We rate his hyperbolic claim statement Mostly False.https://www.sharethefacts.co/share/53f7cb21-360f-4c93-873a-a05fbad270f5
Labor Secretary Thomas Perez’s comments to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, June 18, 2016.
Hillary Clinton’s speech in Columbus, Ohio, June 21, 2016. (her comments about Trump’s business taxes are at just over into the video).
Interview with Mattie Munoz, spokeswoman for Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, June 22, 2016
Trump Organization website accessed June 22-23, 2016.
ABC News exclusive; "One-on-One with Donald Trump," transcript June 21, 2016.
ABC News interview with Donald Trump, June 21, 2016.
ABC News, "Donald Trump blames China for fact that much of his gear is ‘made in China,’" April 28, 2011.
Email from Robert Lawrence, professor of international trade and investment at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, June, 22, 2016.
Robert Lawrence column for PBS News Hour, March 8, 2016.
The Washington Post, "Trump has profited from foreign labor he says is killing the U.S.," March 13, 2016.
Interview with Christine Stetson, owner of Village Springs, June 23, 2016.
PolitiFact, "Tweets say Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ hats are made in China," Oct. 7, 2015.
PolitiFact Virginia, "Donald Trump incorrectly says Virginia winery is largest on the East Coast," March 21, 2016.
ABC News, "Donald Trump decries outsourcing but much of family brand is manufactured abroad," March 8, 2016.
Willington, Connecticut town website, "Village Springs Corporation," accessed June, 23, 2016.
Email from Emily Bolton, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Virginia, June 23, 2016.
The Washington Examiner, "Report: Dozens of Trump products made overseas," March 8, 2016.
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