Donald Trump’s “America First” doctrine appears to be hitting the fashion industry, most recently Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo.
According to NBC, Tadashi Yanai, president and chairman of Fast Retailing Co., which owns Uniqlo, says that if Uniqlo was obligated to manufacture in America, the chain would withdraw from the American market. Yanai reportedly told the Japanese newspaper Ashai Shimbun that making quality products and manufacturing in the States would not be feasible.
“Anyone will think that it is an open-and-shut and impossible situation,” Yanai said. “If [manufacturing products in the United States] is not a good decision for consumers, it is meaningless to do business in the United States.”
Donald Trump has made no secret of the fact that he wants all manufacturing in the U.S. market to be based in the U.S. and companies who don’t comply will face hefty taxes.
Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2017
Uniqlo’s growth in the United States has been slow, the chain currently only has 50 stores. Previous attempts to break into the American market have proven unsuccessful, however, Yanai hopes to still open 20 to 30 stores a year while still adhering to Uniqlo’s ethos.
“Uniqlo will stay true to our core business values of offering the highest quality apparel at accessible prices,” a Uniqlo spokesperson said, “and these values are central to our customer-centric philosophy.”