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Thread: Donald Trump questions whether U.S. manufactures televisions any more

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Donald Trump questions whether U.S. manufactures televisions any more

    Donald Trump questions whether U.S. manufactures televisions any more

    By Linda Qiu on Sunday, October 18th, 2015 at 6:37 p.m.

    Donald Trump, no stranger to the small screen, is miffed that the United States no longer makes televisions.

    Trump is a longtime critic of offshoring, so much so that his "Make America Great Again" hats are stamped with the guarantee that they’re "proudly made in the USA" (yes, we have confirmed this).

    In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Trump made the case that you can’t say the same about TVs anymore.

    "I just ordered 4,000 television sets. You know where they come from? South Korea," Trump said on Oct. 18. "I don’t want to order them from South Korea. I don’t think anybody makes television sets in the United States anymore. I don’t want to order from South Korea, I want to order from here."

    Is Trump right that the United States stopped manufacturing TVs, an iconic example of American culture and innovation? Even a panelist appearing later on Fox News Sunday — conservative pundit George Will countered Trump’s claim, saying that there are TVs manufactured in South Carolina.

    So who’s right?

    We reached out the Trump campaign and didn’t hear back. But our research found that Trump is wrong to suggest that the United States doesn’t make TVs any more, though he has a point that we don’t make nearly as many as we used to.

    There are American companies that specialize in TV sales, like Vizio and Silo, but they manufacture their products abroad. (Silo used to assemble some LCD models in California, but it is unclear if they currently do.) But by most assessments, they would fall outside of Trump’s criteria.

    What about sets that are actually made in the USA? A spokesperson for the Alliance for American Manufacturing told us the group is only aware of two American companies currently manufacturing or assembling TVs in the United States: Séura in Green Bay, Wisc. and Element Electronics in Minnesota and South Carolina. (Another U.S. manufacturer, Olevia, was making TVs in California but has since folded.)

    Down the tube

    In the 1950s, there were 90 to 150 television manufacturers in the United States, churning out 11 million television sets per year, according to a 1955 report by the (now defunct) Radio Electronics Television Manufacturers' Association.

    American manufacturers continued to dominate the domestic market into the 1960s, though Japanese-made TVs began to trickle in. In 1965, the United States made 3 million color sets, while Japan produced fewer than 100,000. But it and other Asian companies were catching up fast.

    Imports rose quickly in the 1970s, even as U.S. makers began to move production abroad. By 1972, every major American manufacturer had established factories in developing countries, while imports from South Korea and Taiwan began to overtake those from Japan.

    By 1980, just three American makers remained: the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), Zenith, and GTE-Sylvania (which stopped making consumer electronics in the 1980s).

    According to a report from the now-defunct congressional Office of Technology Assessment, 68 percent of black-and-white TVs and 13 percent of color TVs were imported in 1982, and whatever manufacturing remained had become largely assembly operations. Nonetheless, Zenith and RCA still held about 40 percent of the U.S. market share.

    Then in 1986, RCA was acquired and broken up by General Electronics. Zenith, then the third-largest and last remaining American TV maker, "gave up its battle to survive on its own" in 1995 and was sold to the South Korean giant, LG Electronics, according to the New York Times.

    American-made versus American-owned

    LG’s acquisition of Zenith, however, did not mean the end of all TV manufacturing in the United States. In 1995, the two largest producers — Thomas of France and Philips of the Netherlands — made TV sets in Indiana and Tennessee respectively, according to the New York Times.

    American manufacturing may see a comeback yet. Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer of Apple products that has drawn negative attention for its labor practices, is in talks to make displays in Arizona, according to Bloomberg.

    Meanwhile, America is still "a powerhouse for research and development," according to a USA Today profile of a New Jersey-based company that supplies crucial parts of TVs for major foreign manufacturers.

    Nonetheless, two of the three largest TV makers worldwide are South Korean (Samsung and LGE) and one is Japanese (Sony). Together, they account for about half of the flat screen market. Overall, according to numbers from the United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database, the United States imports far more TVs than it exports.

    Our ruling

    Trump said, "I don’t think we make television sets in the U.S. anymore."

    He has a point that the United States makes very few TVs today, especially when compared to its dominance decades ago. However, it’s incorrect to suggest that we don’t make any, since there are least two American-owned companies that make TVs in the United States. We rate his claim Half True.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-me...ufactures-tel/
    Last edited by Judy; 10-18-2015 at 09:20 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    You know, it's really sad that ordinary citizens on their own time have to Fact-Check, the Fact-Checkers.
    _________________

    Walmart’s ‘Made In USA’ Televisions Are Allegedly Made In China

    by Alan Pyke Nov 12, 2014 3:31pm

    A Walmart supplier has been passing off Chinese televisions as "assembled in the USA," according to a new Federal Trade Commission complaint.

    Element Electronics boasts of being the only American-owned and American-assembled television company. Flashy red-white-and-blue packaging helps it do business with Walmart as part of the retailer’s quarter-trillion-dollar “Made in USA” initiative. But according to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint filed Tuesday, the company isn’t making anything in America after all.

    Instead, the complaint alleges, the Chinese-made TVs arrive to Element’s South Carolina assembly line in boxes adorned with a waving American flag and the slogan “America Matters” on the front and the phrase “assembled in the USA” on top. Element’s employees unscrew a plastic panel, install a Chinese-made motherboard, close the panel, and return the TVs to their patriotic packaging so that they can be shipped out to Walmart, Target, Meijer, Sam’s Club, and QVC. That depiction of Element’s assembly process comes from a July article in the Wall Street Journal.

    The Journal article is the key evidence in the FTC complaint, which was filed by a non-partisan non-profit group called the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM). AAM’s blog had previously touted Element Electronics as an example of manufacturing jobs returning to the U.S., but in Tuesday’s complaint it asks the FTC for an injunction barring Element from saying that their televisions are assembled stateside.

    A product cannot be advertised as assembled in America, according to FTC rules, unless it undergoes a “substantial transformation” on U.S. soil. Furthermore, the AAM complaint notes, the FTC rules offer a specific example of an assembly process that would not qualify — and that example “is strikingly similar to the facts as they relate to Element’s ‘assembly’ process.” The example describes a computer built from foreign-made parts that “then are put together in a simple ‘screwdriver’ operation in the U.S.,” reminiscent of what the Journal found upon visiting Element’s South Carolina facility.

    An Element spokeswoman did not return multiple calls seeking comment on Wednesday. Element President Michael O’Shaughnessy told the Journal in July that the company has plans to establish a more extensive and complex operation in South Carolina over the next few years as more parts start to be manufactured in America. He also told the newspaper that the conveyor belts and other hardware that make up the physical assembly line in South Carolina were themselves manufactured in China and installed by Chinese engineers.

    Element describes itself as an American-owned company whose televisions are made by a Chinese conglomerate called Tsinghau TongFang (THTF) Global. But the question of corporate ownership is murkier on THTF Global’s website, one page of which refers to Element varyingly as an “owned brand,” a “self-owned brand,” and an “affiliated brand.” A separate page about Element on the Chinese company’s website uses the collective pronoun “we” to describe what customers can expect from “us at Element.”

    When Element first came to the state in 2013, South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said the arrival was another sign that “South Carolina has transitioned into an advanced manufacturing state.” The same press release noted that Element was getting a $1.3 million infrastructure grant from the state in addition to unspecified tax credits for hiring workers. That grant program helps finance building improvements companies need to operate in the state. “In this particular case the company was going into a building that had been vacant for 5 years,” Commerce Department spokeswoman Allison Skipper told ThinkProgress, “and it needed some up-fit prior to moving in.”

    The state predicted Element’s facility would create 500 jobs in the state. The Nerve, a news website in the state, reported at the time that 250 of those jobs were supposed to be created in the first year, and that state officials “were being tight-lipped about the details of the taxpayer-backed incentives for the project.” The Journal reported that Element employs just 185 in the state so far. The company tells South Carolina that it has 325 workers, according to Commerce Department spokeswoman Skipper, who recently attended a Walmart supplier summit where Element appeared. Element will not be able to cash in its per-employee tax credits until it reaches the 500-job goal it pledged the state in 2013, she said, but the state does not attempt to predict how much the credits will ultimately cost.

    While Element’s ownership and job creation deals are murky, the company is indisputably the key link in the serpentine process by which Chinese-made televisions are landing on Walmart shelves in boxes draped with the stars and bars. AAM calls Element “a poster child of Walmart’s recent Made in America push” whereby “consumers are led to believe that Element’s televisions contribute to bringing jobs back to the United States.” Walmart’s public relations push around American manufacturing has played out alongside stiff criticism of the company’s habit of paying wages so low that its employees rely on taxpayer-funded public assistance programs to survive.

    Prior to heading up Element, company president Michael O’Shaughnessy was involved in another complicated, potentially scandalous business enterprise. O’Shaughnessy managed to get caught up in a Ponzi scheme as head of Polaroid and two other companies owned by Thomas Petters. Petters is currently in jail for running a $3.7 billion Ponzi scheme over 14 years. O’Shaughnessy was never charged, but according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal he has been sued twice by victims of Petters’ crimes who say that the $9 million in bonuses and fees the Element president received from Petters’ companies while the Ponzi scheme was running are ill-gotten funds that should be returned to victims. One lawsuit claims that Petters’ fraud succeeded in part because he “paid exorbitant sums of money to surround himself with executives, partners, and friends who helped create the essential air of success” he needed to bilk people and identifies O’Shaughnessy as one example of those human elements in Petters’ disguise. Calls to attorneys on both sides of the lawsuits against O’Shaughnessy were not immediately returned.

    UPDATE

    This post has been updated with comment from the South Carolina Commerce Department. Element Electronics has told the state it employs 325 people, not the 185 reported by the Wall Street Journal in July.

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/201...de-in-america/
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Seura TV is a design concept, specialty, hand-crafted TV that hides behind mirrors and it is in bathrooms and outdoors, which wouldn't be suitable or cost-effective for hotel rooms, even nice ones. They're for luxury homes and expensive offices.

    Seura Televisions strive to elevate luxury technologies to fine-art status, creating products that
    bridge the gap between technology and décor. With innovation at the heart of the business,
    Séura continues to drive its products to new and unexplored territories. Every product is
    engineered and hand-crafted in Séura’s facility in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Incorporating the
    latest technology into your home doesn’t mean compromising your décor. Séura’s vanishing
    mirror TV provides a crisp television image and, when turned off, a fashionable mirror
    remains without a hint of its technological applications. The Enhanced series and Deco Series
    bathroom TV’s function as mirrors as well. The Lumination Collection lighted mirrors add a
    brilliant sculptural element with impeccable style. The Storm outdoor TV is the perfect year-
    round weatherproof TV Solution.


    http://www.americansworking.com/tvs.html
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    So George Will needs to correct himself and apologize to Donald Trump and Fox News for telling falsehoods.

    George Will in all of his arrogant smugness just proved he is no longer credible, no longer reliable, and his career as otherwise is now over.

    And PolitiFact, you needed to spend at least two more minutes doing your "research" to Fact-Check so you wouldn't have made your mistake either,.

    Your ruling of "HALF TRUE", just proved you and your staff are HALF-WITS.
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    Senior Member Captainron's Avatar
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    "So George Will needs to correct himself and apologize to Donald Trump and Fox News for telling falsehoods."

    Please throw out the whole NeoCon era.
    Judy likes this.
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captainron View Post
    "So George Will needs to correct himself and apologize to Donald Trump and Fox News for telling falsehoods."

    Please throw out the whole NeoCon era.
    YES! Even Chris Wallace couldn't believe George Will's position and even though Chris didn't have evidence to refute George, he was clearly in disbelief and turned to the camera and told all the viewers to send George their emails directly for his statements that Chris obviously thought was going to ge a whole lot of blow-back.

    I believe that whole NeoCon Free Trade Treason era is ... DEAD .... in the United States. I don't believe any member of Congress who votes for another Trade agreement has a snowball's chance in hell of being re-elected or elected to anything else.

    SHAME ON YOU RUBIO! You traitor who cast the deciding vote on TPA for TPP.
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Donald Trump Talks American-made TVs, Causes Confusion

    By Matthew McMullan Monday, October 19, 2015

    What makes it Made in America?

    Big weekend in Made-in-the-USA television news, everybody! Donald Trump, America’s sweetheart, went on Fox News Sunday and said:

    I just ordered 4,000 television sets. You know where they come from? South Korea. … I don’t want to order them from South Korea. I don’t think anybody makes television sets in the United States anymore. I don’t want to order from South Korea, I want to order from here.

    That caught the attention of Washington Post columnist George Will, who appeared later on the same program as a panelist:

    Now, again, this is outrageous what he said, it's just not factual. I mean, he said you can't buy a television made in the United States. When he gets to South Carolina, the third state in the nominating process, he can go visit the factory where they're making televisions in South Carolina.

    Will is talking about Element Electronics, a brand that – last time the Federal Trade Commission checked – has many of its televisions manufactured by its parent company, a Chinese conglomerate; then shipped over to its American facility for some light screwdriver work; and then stamped its packaging with confusing claims about all of its product being “assembled in the USA,” which is not the same as “made in America.” The FTC told Element to clear up the discrepancy.

    Now look, George Will is an attractive man ...

    ... but he’s not atop the polls in the Republican presidential field. Therefore it was Trump’s claim that drew the attention of Politifact, which rated his claim about U.S. television production “Half True.” Its write-up of Trump’s claim is worth reading.

    But let’s get back to Will. After nitpicking about Trump’s claim, he was challenged by Fox News host Chris Wallace, who asked, “you don’t think that’s a legitimate complaint that we don’t make products in this country?” Will said:

    I do not. I think that – in fact, we're delighted and not complaining about the fact that the iPhone you have in your pocket says designed in California, assembled – not manufactured – assembled in China from parts from all over the world. The idea of where you manufacture a product in today's world makes very little sense.

    Can’t outsource a syndicate columnist job, I guess.

    http://www.americanmanufacturing.org...uses-confusion
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Can’t outsource a syndicate columnist job, I guess.
    You can fire him though!



    Thanks for calling Donald Trump, "America's sweet heart", because he certainly is, whether or not all the people know that yet or not. They will by election time.
    JohnK likes this.
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  9. #9
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Good thread and research Judy.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Thank you Jean!
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