Business booming in China for Trump masks and socks despite trade war… with manufacturers boasting about undercutting US-made products
BUSINESS is booming in China thanks to exports to the US of Donald Trump masks and socks – amid the spiralling trade war.
Manufacturers claim they can still make a killing as they can produce the novelty gifts at a fraction of the price of their American rivals.
One clothing company admits it is currently making a fortune flogging Trump socks to customers in the US.
Manufacturing firm Yiwu Hodeang says it ships thousands of pairs of the novelty gifts to the States every month.
"Our sales to the US are going very well”, the company manager called You, told the South China Morning Post.
“At present we receive at least one big order from the US and several smaller orders each day,”she revealed.
“A big order equates to at least 5,000 pairs of the (Trump) socks.”
However, it's reported they cost as little as £1.50 a pair – far cheaper than those being produced by US manufacturers.
Jack Chen is the boss of Jiayi Party Festival Costume Company, a Hubei-based company that exports Trump-themed wigs.
He now fears he will be hit hard by new proposed trade regulations which are due to be introduced by the White House.
Wigs come under the tariff code 6704.19.00, meaning that should the new tariffs enter force US importers will have to pay 25 per cent more.
Chen currently sells 25 per cent of his company's total stock to the US market. His wigs sell for as little as a £1 – far cheaper than those produced in the States.
However despite the new trade sanctions, Chen is a strong supporter of the tough-talking business tycoon.
“I support him. Him being the US president is good for China over the long run,” he said.
The Jinhua Partytime Latex Art and Crafts Factory has also cleaned up knocking out bundles of Trump masks.
The £3 novelties have proven massive sellers since they were first produced ahead of the Presidential election in 2016.
Since then the firm has exported hundreds of thousands of the masks to the US.
The masks outsold all other celebrity masks made at Zhou's factory, including masks of Hillary Clinton and former US President Barack Obama.
"The Clinton mask sold better in the beginning, but soon fell behind. We sold about 10 Trump masks for every Clinton mask," she said.
At peak production, the factory hired dozens more people to work long hours at night to make and package Trump masks.
Trucks lined up outside the factory to pick up the products smelling of fresh latex before they were shipped to US distributors and retailers by air.
Another company based in Zhejiang province in eastern China has exported tens of thousands of toilet rolls with Trump's face printed on them since the beginning of 2017.
A salesman at Honglida Commodity Manufacturing Company based in Yiwu, said: "Americans bought Trump toilet paper mainly to make fun of him."
However, other firms cashing in one US-themed products admit they were unaware of Trump's trade clampdown.
And Jiahao Arts & Crafts, which makes merchandise for the Trump 2020 re-election campaign, admits it is already suffering.
It has not received any US orders for Trump re-election flags for the past month.
“I asked our US clients why they did not renew their orders. They said it was because the tariffs had greatly increased their cost,” said a manager at Jiahao.
"Around 60 per cent of US flags are imported from China, increasing tariffs does no good to Trump either."
Trump stepped up the trade war with China by raising tariffs on $200billion (£152billion) of Chinese goods.
The US President was hoping to increase pressure on Beijing after complaining talks on a US-China trade deal are moving "too slowly".
The President also said he would target a further $325 billion of Chinese goods with 25 per cent tariffs "shortly," essentially targeting all products imported to the United States from China.
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