First Daughter, advisor to the President and fashion entrepreneur Ivanka Trump delivered a speech at the United Nations today advocating combating “modern slavery” in its many forms. It also came in stark contrast to the business practices she employs at her own company.
Ivanka, who recently published a book declaring that improving the lives of working women is “my life’s mission,” employs a workforce that is primary female and lags shamefully behind in monitoring their treatment and enacting protective measures. According to The Washington Post, “Ivanka Trump’s company relies exclusively on foreign factories in countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and China, where low-wage laborers have limited ability to advocate for themselves.”
Comparable companies, such as Adidas and Kenneth Cole, have, for their part, hired independent auditors to monitor labor conditions in their factories abroad. Ivanka Trump, who still owns her company, has made no such moves to assuage human rights activists. On the contrary, she has come under heavy fire for her controversial labor practices.
Per The Washington Post:
“[An] investigation found that the workers at [Ivanka’s] facility were often earning less than China’s minimum wage in some parts of the country, which is a more important metric. Additionally, the average manufacturing employee in China earned twice what employees at G-III [Apparel Group, the factory that produced Trump’s clothes] were making. What’s more, those employees were forced to work more in overtime than is allowed under Chinese law, working up to 82 hours of overtime a month when the law caps the allowable total at 36 hours. Less than one-third of them were offered mandated medical insurance coverage and pensions, and the company didn’t contribute to an affordable housing fund as mandated.”
In 2016, the Ivanka Trump clothing line generated $100 million in retail revenue.
That did not stop her from pontificating about the importance of eliminating “all aspects of human trafficking” including “forced labor… both at home and abroad.”
“With Secretary Tillerson’s leadership, the U.S. agencies that make up the President’s Interagency Task Force to monitor and combat human trafficking and persons, work tirelessly to address all aspects of human trafficking, both at home and abroad. This includes the enforcement of criminal and labor laws[.]”
“Human trafficking, forced labor and modern slavery splinters families, distorts global markets, undermines the rule of law, strengthens transnational organized criminal networks and threatens national security everywhere. We must take away the economic opportunity in these crimes… We cannot stand by in silence.”
Click here to hear Ivanka’s entire speech at the UN (skip to 7:35-12:27 to hear her speak).
Ivanka would not be the first Trump whose words and actions are egregiously misaligned. However, to preach something so sanctimoniously that she herself is guilty of committing is a unique brand of hypocrisy that only a Trump is capable of selling.
What do you think?