Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tells us we're getting clobbered by China. He says Americans have lost their jobs and businesses to China, which to a certain but overstated (by him) extent is true, but it turns out Trump knows a few things about sending business to China.
Kurt Eichenwald at Newsweek reports that Trump's most recent major construction projects used Chinese-made steel in their construction, and this slimy rabbit hole runs very deep.
According to government documents, the Chinese entity chosen by Trump to provide steel for the Las Vegas property is a holding company called Ossen Innovation Co., Ltd.–formerly known as Ultra Glory International Ltd. That British Virgin Islands entity in turn owns a second holding company called Ossen Innovation Materials Group Ltd., which, through a complex legal arrangement, indirectly owns Ossen Innovation Materials Co. Ltd., and through it, Ossen (Jiujiang) Steel Wire & Cable Co. Ltd., the operating business located in Shanghai. With such layers upon layers of corporate shells and divisions, builders like Trump can purchase their steel from less-expensive Chinese suppliers without the ultimate supplier being readily apparent.
I had to read that twice.
In addition to his Last Vegas hotel, Trump also reportedly used Chinese-made steel to build his hotel in Chicago.
For the Chicago project, tracing the metal back to China is once again a difficult process. To construct the exterior panels, Trump hired an entity called Permasteelisa Cladding Technologies Ltd, which is based in Connecticut. That company, in turn, is a division of Permasteelisa North America Corp. which, despite its name, has been identified by the American government as an importer of steel, aluminum and other metals from its affiliated companies, Permasteelisa South China Factory and Permasteelisa Hong Kong Limited.
While Trump has delivered a vague message that China is taking us to the woodshed, he has also singled out the steel industry in Midwestern states for being especially troubled.
Notably, Trump attacked Ohio Governor John Kasich during the Republican presidential primary by accusing him of killing the state's steel industry but, as we know now, Trump has been passing over American steel producers for many years.
Kasich has helped decimate the coal and steel industries in Ohio. I will bring them back! #MakeAmericaGreatAgain
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 14, 2016
It's probably safe to assume Trump himself is guilty of whatever he accuses his opponents of.