EVEN as a trade war between the United States and China kicks into gear, at least one Chinese businessman is helping to “make America great again”.
Li Jiang, the owner of a flag making factory in China’s eastern Zhejiang province, told NPR’s The Indicator last week that he was making flags for US President Donald Trump’s prospective campaign for re-election in 2020.
“We also make flags for Trump for 2020,” Li told the programme through a translator. “It seems like he has another campaign going on in 2020. Isn’t that right?” referring to the escalating trade tensions with China whereby Trump has pledged to rectify an “unfair” trade relationship.
The two economic giants imposed duties on some $34 billion worth of each other’s imports on Friday, with China accusing the Trump administration of starting the “largest-scale trade war.”
“It’s very pretty with stars and stripes. Fifty stars, isn’t it?” said Li of the American flag. Asked if the Trump 2020 flags said “made in China” on them, Li confirmed: “yes, all of them.”
His factory manufactures 100,000 flags every day and had previously made merchandise for Hillary Clinton and Trump’s presidential campaigns for the 2016 election.
According to NPR, Li’s company grew into a leading global flag manufacturer after China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, allowing it greater access to foreign markets. The firm produces a wide range of national flags too, not just political ones.
When asked if it felt strange to be making Trump flags, Li said: “It is completely normal. And that is trade. We buy stuff from America, and America is buying buying stuff from China. For example, my car is from America.”
“We are not so worried because first of all, we have a big price advantage over our competitors,” Li said of the looming trade war. “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.”