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Photo Shoehorns Misinformation Into Tariff Debate


Quick Take

A manipulated photo circulating online falsely claims to show boxes of shoes for Ivanka Trump’s fashion line getting a special exemption from tariffs.


Full Story

Ivanka Trump announced in late July 2018 that she would shut down her namesake fashion brand, and its licensing agreement with a major manufacturer expired later that year.

But a photo claiming to show a box of Ivanka Trump brand shoes getting an exemption from tariffs enacted by her father, President Donald Trump, is still circulating online.

Not only is the business no longer functioning, but the photo was manipulated.

The picture originally illustrated a story on Gawker.com about Ivanka Trump brand shoes being manufactured in China. That story was posted in March 2016. The picture now circulating on social media is a cropped version of the original and “TARRIFF EXEMPT” has been stamped in red on one corner of the box.

Beyond the obvious error that the word tariff is spelled wrong, the shoes aren’t subject to the new tariffs imposed under the Trump administration so far. The increased tariffs on goods from China affect a broad range of goods — primarily electronics and industrial items — but shoes are nowhere on the list of imports that would be subject to them.

However, shoes are included in a list of additional items the administration proposed in May to be added to those subject to the tariffs. Dozens of U.S. shoe companies signed a letter to Trump asking the president to “bring this trade war to an end.”

But Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand is now defunct and not involved in the recent tariff debate.

Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.

Sources

Ballhaus, Rebecca and Suzanne Kapner. “Ivanka Trump Closing Her Namesake Fashion Brand.” The Wall Street Journal. 24 Jul 2018.

G-III Apparel Group. Form 10-K. United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 2 Apr 2018

Feinberg, Ashley. “EXCLUSIVE PHOTO: Ivanka Trump’s Shoes Definitely Made in China.” Gawker.com. 23 Mar 2016.

Congressional Research Service. “Trump Administration Tariff Actions (Sections 201, 232, and 301): Frequently Asked Questions.” 22 Feb 2019.

Office of the United States Trade Representative. Notice of Determination and Request for Public Comment Concerning Proposed Determination of Action Pursuant to Section 301: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. 3 Apr 2018.

Office of the United States Trade Representative. Request for Comments Concerning Proposed Modification of Action Pursuant to Section 301: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. Federal Register. 17 May 2019.

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A viral image shows a box of Ivanka Trump brand shoes stamped with "TARRIFF EXEMPT"
Sunday, May 19, 2019