Donald Trump recently placed a large window order from an unknown Chinese window producer for one of his projects, according to a recent interview with CNBC. Why? He says he couldn’t find a U.S. producer.

“I ordered windows, thousands of windows the other day; they’re made in China,” he told CNBC. “I don’t want to buy them, but it’s hard to get them anywhere else.”

According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, yes, Chinese imports of aluminum and bauxite products have increased in recent years. Reports show that in 2005 such were valued at $464,188,000; in 2009 the value was reported as $599, 932, 000 (down some compared to 2008, which was listed as $617, 672, 000).

The Trump comment has gotten a lot of worldwide media attention, and while representatives from his offices have not responded to DWM magazine’s request for comments, U.S. manufacturers disagree on the availability of domestic windows.

In an interview last month on ensuring quality in imported aluminum materials, Dave Hewitt, director of marketing for EFCO, a Pella Company, in Monett, Mo., pointed out, “There are a lot of hard-working people [in the aluminum window/curtainwall industry] in the United States who need work and we have a lot of capacity, which makes us competitive.”

Although undoubtedly Trump was referring to a commercial project residential window manufacturers are also weighing in on the remarks.

“I actually was a bit surprised by Mr. Trump’s comments,” says Tyson Scharwtz, vice president of sales and marketing for Gorell Windows and Doors. “He looked straight into the camera and asked ‘Doesn’t anyone in America make windows?’ I’m not sure Mr. Trump or his people looked very hard. Obviously, there are thousands of window manufacturers in the country, and I don’t think you need to look that hard.”

He added that his only challenge with his comments is that it made it seem like window manufacturers in the United States “aren’t aggressive in trying to get business.

“My competitors and I would certainly disagree with this. At the same time, did our industry miss an opportunity for large projects with his organization?” asks Schwartz.

What do you think about Trump’s statement? Please e-mail ttaffera@glass.com.

5 Comments

  1. Mr. Trump is a media hog. He will go to any length to get more attention to his projects. I find that his comments that they could not locate a commercial window manufacturer in the US very hard to believe. Maybe his apprentices are not working hard enough!

    Joe Vespa
    Superseal Manufacturing Co
    South Plainfield, NJ

  2. As smart a businessman Mr. Trump is I think he may have other reasons to buy Chinese windows.
    taking his words “i could not find windows in the US’ tells me that he or his people have not looked.
    Perhaps someone needs to teach the Trump Organization to use Google.com

  3. Perhaps what he really meant to say was that he could not find windows made in the USA by a company whose owner has connections which could help pave his way for a casino to be built in China.

  4. Honest mistake on his part… Just like when we were in Vegas for Glassbuild we didn’t stay at Trumps hotel. Didn’t realize he had one there 😉

    The Art of the Deal?
    Some negotiator!

  5. We are all assuming Trump’s people didn’t look or ask? What if they did? What if its a lack of marketing skills on window company sellers? A large project should have shown up on somebodys radar screen for needing a lot of windows…Did anybody call Trump’s people and ask them what is going on? Do you need a quote? Samples? Information? I’m not a Trump fan perse but this is another way to view this issue.

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