Republican nominee Donald Trump continually promises to bring “jobs” back to America, but it’s hard to take him seriously when he’s spent his whole career supporting foreign businesses instead of buying American. It’s long known that almost everything inside the Republican nominee’s hotels are made overseas, but a new report indicates that the aluminum that the high rise towers themselves were built with massive amount of aluminum purchased overseas in China. Trump took advantage of a Chinese “trade dumping” scam to drive competition out of business, which benefited the billionaire’s bottom line by erecting high rise towers in Chicago and Las Vegas, at the direct expense of American workers.
Newsweek has discovered that the Republican nominee went overseas to China to buy $350 million worth of aluminum just on his Chicago tower alone instead of using a US supplier like Alcoa. More than half of all American aluminum smelting plants have shut down in just the last two years while billionaires like Trump buy cheap Chinese aluminum to save money. Newsweek reports:
[Donald Trump] filled his bank accounts with millions of dollars that could have gone to blue-collar workers, many of whom now believe he is the man who will bring back the jobs that he secretly helped to destroy. During the time of the Trump Chicago construction, according to documents filed with the United States Court of International Trade by the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce, Permasteelisa was dumping aluminum used in curtain walls, meaning it was using predatory pricing to sell the products below the cost of production or the amount charged in China. The beneficiaries of trade dumping are users of the material, like Trump, who save significant sums of money on construction, thus increasing their profits.
Because American businesses have been turning to cheaper aluminum from overseas, the industry is collapsing. For example, in just the last two years, more than half of the country’s aluminum smelters in states like Ohio, West Virginia and Texas have closed as a result of being undercut on price by competition from overseas.
Assuming an admittedly light weight of a pound per foot, American companies lost out on more than $350 million in sales…. Trump purchased the aluminum used in the Chicago project for what is called the “curtain wall”—the glass and metal exterior designed to save energy. The wall is made with 11,500 panels of thermal pane glass encased in aluminum. Each of the panels is 6 feet, 3 inches, meaning they used 207,000 feet of aluminum; the precise amount of tonnage could not be determined. The building required tons of aluminum and Trump elected not to purchase the metal from Alcoa or any other similar American producer, but instead turn to a subsidiary of a Chinese aluminum manufacturer.
Donald Trump the xenophobic anti-free trade populist is actually a major importer of overseas commodities. In his own life, the Republican nominee has had ample opportunities to do as he says, but in so many documented examples he has done the exact opposite for the sole purpose of self-enrichment. Reporter Kurt Eichenwald concluded that, “the only beneficiaries of his decisions to go with cheaper Chinese metals for his construction project are Trump and his family, he is not someone who ever attempted to lead by example by only buying products made in America.”
American workers need to hold the Republican nominee responsible for his actions, because the words at his buffoonish rallies are meaningless. At the end of the day, Donald Trump has constantly sold out the American worker, American industry and American decency all in the name of making a quick buck.
This is proof.
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition