As Trump targets trade, a Chinese factory says it's been hired to make flags for Trump's 2020 campaign

  • The owner of a Chinese flag factory told an NPR podcast he was making flags for Trump’s 2020 campaign.
  • It’s unclear whether the flags were ordered by Trump’s campaign or other businesses, but the factory also made flags for the 2016 election.

As the US’s trade conflict with China heats up and President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign gets underway, a Chinese manufacturer says his factory has been hired to create flags for Trump’s 2020 bid.

The factory, which used to make red scarves for the communist Young Pioneers before China opened up its trade, now makes about 100,000 international flags a day.

“We also make flags for Trump for 2020,” Li Jiang told NPR’s “The Indicator” podcast. “It seems like he has another campaign going on in 2020. Isn’t that right?”

Trump flagKevin Hagen/Getty ImagesTrump supporters in front of Trump Tower in New York City.

NPR said Li was making “blue-and-white Trump 2020 flags,” though his factory and many others in the Zhejiang province in eastern China also made flags for Trump and Hillary Clinton during 2016. According to NPR, the Trump campaign was ordering so many more flags than Clinton’s side that locals joked they were the first to know the businessman would become president.

The committee organising Trump’s 2020 campaign, Donald J. Trump for President Inc., last year stated a commitment to “buy American” and said it had “produced and manufactured all of our merchandise right here in America” down to the American-made stitching on its “Make America Great Again” hats.

The committee said “we put America first and take great pride in selling 100% Made in the USA products to our supporters throughout the country.”

The committee’s executive director, Michael Glassner, said in a statement at the time that the committee would sell American products “all the way through 2020 and beyond.”

It is unclear whether the organisation is the one to have ordered the flags revealed to NPR and, if it did, whether it planned to give the flags away at rallies and events rather than sell them.

Trump’s campaign website advertised hats made in America as Trump railed against Chinese manufacturing on the campaign trail in 2016, though unofficial foreign-made merchandise carrying the “Make America Great Again” slogan also flooded shelves across the country.

As for a potential trade war affecting sales, Li, who said he used to make about a dime off each $US1 flag he sold, told NPR he was unconcerned.

“We are not so worried because first of all, we have a big price advantage over our competitors,” he said. “And our clients are very smart. They would always go to the cheapest place. If China is cheap, they go to China. If America is cheap, they go to America.”

Business Insider contacted the Trump 2020 campaign to confirm whether it had contracted flags to be made in China and will update this post when it responds.

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