Does Trump Hotel in DC 'Buy American'?

Do Trump Hotels Buy American?

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - President Donald Trump wants the federal government to “buy America”, but does his D.C. hotel follow that directive?

WUSA9 discovered that while the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue is draped in old glory, it is also wrapped in contradictions.

The four-story American flag in the lobby towers over Swarovski chandeliers made in Austria.
Lamps lining the hallway are from China. Small decorative boxes on the coffee tables marked with stickers that read “Made in India.”

The discoveries are seemingly at odds with the “Buy American And Hire American” Executive Order the President issued on April 18, 2017

In a speech that same day in Wisconsin, President Trump said he wanted the federal government to “minimize the use of waivers and to maximize made in America content in all federal projects.”

"With this order I am directing every single agency in our government to strictly uphold our buy American laws," Trump said.

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However, after WUSA9 paid to rent out one of the $800 a night rooms in the President’s DC hotel, it became clear his business didn’t seem to be maximizing made in America products.

QUIZ: What's 'Made in America' inside Trump Hotel DC


There were phones from Malaysia. A TV from South Korea. A tray from the UK.

The towels were from India. Soaps and shampoos from Canada. The robe was made in China.

The dishes were from Germany. The glasses from Italy. The sheets and comforter were also made in Italy, although the Sterns and Foster mattress was American made, as were the pillows.

Other American made products used by the Trump Hotel in its rooms include the bible, clock, and even some of the big-ticket items like high-end bathroom fixtures and furniture.

In all, 21 of the 31 products the WUSA9 could identify came from outside the US. Here's a complete list:

  • Lamps (China)
  • Glasses (Italy)
  • Phones (Malaysia) 
  • Remote control (China)
  • TV (South Korea)
  • Soaps and shampoos (Canada)
  • Towels (India)
  • Scale (China)
  • Hair dryer (China)
  • Sheets (Italy)
  • Tissue container (UK)
  • Umbrella (China)
  • Robe (China)
  • Tray (UK)
  • Ice bucket (UK)
  • Dishes (Germany)
  • Sheets (Italy)
  • Glasses (Italy)
  • Chandeliers (Austria)
  • Furniture (US)
  • Mattress (US)
  • Pillows (US)
  • Bible (US)
  • Clock (US)
  • Trash Can (US)

That’s not the only place where you will find foreign goods on Trump soil.

Import Genius, a company that tracks US imports and exports, says since 2015 Trump properties have imported goods from countries around the globe.

Import Genius’s CEO, Michael Kanko, said that’s quite common in the hotel industry.

"So if his competitors are importing products and bringing costs down, it doesn't leave his organization much choice,” Kanko said.

"It would be hard for him to be competitive and not deal with global trade.”

At the request of WUSA9, Import Genius researched the imports of other hotel chains and found a wide array of products that come from overseas.

Choice Hotels

  • Choice Hotels purchases their Towels from 1888 Mills, who imports from Mitali Textile in Bangladesh
  • Comfort Inn imports furnishings (vanity, cabinets, furniture) from China
  • Quality Inn imports furnishings (Cabinets, Fans, Curtains, Tables, etc) from China
  • Clarion Hotel imports lighting fixtures from China
  • Econolodge imports hotel amenities (shampoo, lotion, soap)  from China
  • Rodeway Inn imports furniture from China & India

Starwood Hotels

  • Sheraton purchases their furniture from Shenzhen New World LLC, who imports from Xiamen Yongquan SCI Tech in China
  • Le Meridien Hotel imports Linens and Furniture from China and Brazil

Caesar's Entertainment

  • Caesars Entertainment & Caesar's Palace imports Novelty Goods & furniture from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong
  • Harrahs purchases lighting fixtures through Sesco Lighting who imports from China
  • Planet Hollywood imports novelty items & toiletries from Hong Kong and Taiwan

MGM Resorts International

  • MGM Resorts imports Furniture, Novelty Goods, Lighting Fixtures, etc from Hong Kong, Great Britain, Spain, etc
  • Aria Hotel imports dinnerware from China
  • The Bellagio imports amenities & furniture from Italy, Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan
  • MGM Grand imports playing cards from Japan
  • Mandalay Bay imports playing cards & exhibition goods from Hong Kong & Italy
  • Monte Carlo imports novelty goods from Hong Kong
  • Circus Circus imports toys from China & Hong Kong

Miscellaneous Hotels

  • The Venetian imports Lighting Fixtures & Furniture from China & Indonesia

Patricia Tang, a spokesperson for the Trump Hotel, said the use of foreign-made products was strictly a business decision.

"Trump Hotels has nothing to do with the White House administration,” Tang said. “We function like any other hotel."

WUSA9 reached out to the White House Press Office for comment multiple times but did not get a response. The WUSA9Special Assignment Unit also asked ever Republican congressman in Virginia and Maryland to weigh in, but all of them declined to comment.

Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), called the use of foreign goods and services in Trump Hotels “hypocritical."

"If the president really supported buy America, that's what he would do with his own businesses,” Senator Kaine said.
 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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