Hey, Donald, want to give some Americans jobs?
Want to make America just a little bit greater right now?
Call the All American Clothing Company of Ohio.
Say you want them to start supplying you with Donald Trump golf shirts like those you sell online and in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York.
Only the ones you now sell each have a small tag reading:
“Made in Lesotho.”
Every item produced by All American Clothing has a small tag reading:
“Made in USA.”
And, unless you are really fleecing your customers, All American Clothing can offer you a better price.
On Wednesday morning, the very nice woman behind the counter in Trump Tower was asked the price of a women’s golf shirt embroidered with “Trump National Golf Club.”
“These are going to be $65,” she replied. “And the sleeveless ones are going to be $60 if we have any more left.”
That compares with $27.99 retail for the Ladies National golf shirt sold by All American Clothing. That is without the Trump name on the breast, but All American immediately answered in the affirmative when asked if it did such embroidery.
“Sure do,” said B.J. Nickol, the company’s president.
He is the son of Lawson Nickol, who was settled into a seemingly secure and comfortable life as a sales manager for a U.S. jeans company back in 2002.
While out shopping one evening, he chanced to see some jeans that had been produced by his employer but were of a style he did not recognize. He then saw a small tag reading:
The elder Nickol called the firm’s headquarters. He was assured that the tag was genuine. He was all the more devastated that nobody had bothered to tell him that the firm was outsourcing.
He responded as an honorable man who took pride in a long-established reputation for selling good American-made jeans and was now faced with being party to sacrificing loyal American workers in the name of greed.
“He said, ‘Nope,’” the son recalls.
The father resigned and resolved that he would keep providing his loyal customers with good American-made jeans even if he had to make them himself. His son, B.J., joined him in doing just that in a barn on the family farm in the town of Arcanum.
“We said, ‘Hey, let’s give it a go,’” the son says. “It definitely had its challenges.”
They made a first pair and then a second and then a third.
“I think we had a little closet to put some inventory,” the son says.
His mother also pitched in.
“It was the three of us,” the son says.
For the first two years, they made no profit at all, and they had to support themselves by working other jobs.
“Insurance, things like that,” the son reports.
The only easy part was deciding what to call their new business. The All American Clothing Company slowly but surely began to grow thanks to hard work and a good product. That, and a rousing phrase.
“‘Hey, we’re American made!’” the son says. “It kind of inspired a lot of people.”
The “Made in USA” label in each pair of jeans included a tiny American flag. The aptly named company also began to offer other kinds of pants, along with shorts, shirts, jackets, boots, and belts.
“We pretty much got stuff to cover you from head to toe,” the son says.
The company is now on the way to putting 30 people to work.
“That’s probably the most rewarding part, being able to provide jobs for people,” the son says.
And the All American Clothing Company could hire even more if Trump decided that the attire he peddles in his tower and online should all have a “Made in USA” label.
He is enough of a politician to ensure that the “Make America Great” hat he sells is American made.
“It wasn’t easy,” he told The Daily Beast the other day.
But he is also enough of a politician that his shirts continue to bear the “Made in Lesotho” tag. A Trump supporter might say that at least the items are not Chinese made. But in a sense, they are. Virtually all the garment factories in Lesotho are owned by Chinese and Taiwanese businessmen who shifted the manufacturing from their native countries to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000, which waived customs duties for garments imported to America from sub-Saharan Africa. And the wages in Lesotho are low even by Chinese standards.
In truth, nothing could be easier for Trump than to put his clothing labels where his mouth is and make America a little greater by ensuring that his shirts are as American made as his hats. He need only contact the All American Clothing Company, which stands ready to produce even those shirts with “Trump National Golf Club” on the breast.
“We’ll do some embroidery,” B.J. Nickol says. “We’ll make them for him.”