Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDems struggle with abortion litmus test Senators push 'cost-effective' reg reform Congress nears deal on help for miners MORE (D) said Tuesday that his home state of West Virginia would jump at the chance to manufacture Trump-branded ties, after the president signed an executive order aimed at boosting American production and workers.
“We're up and ready to go, give us a chance. We can do the job, absolutely,” Manchin told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “The Lead.”
“Oh, my goodness, would we ever? We used to have some of the best shirt companies in America, right here. Morgan Shirt Company, one of the finest shirt companies in the whole world and they went out of business many, many years ago because they couldn't compete,” Manchin said.
The Trump Organization, which the president is no longer involved in, has a men's apparel and accessories line. Many products are made in China and Bangladesh.
Manchin said the president could “lead by example,” while indicating that the tax code and trade deals need to be improved so the U.S. can compete.
“The president could lead by example here … we can do it in America, but somebody's got to step to the plate. Leadership is leading, and this is what we're hoping that will happen,” Manchin told Tapper.
Manchin described the “tremendous hit” West Virginia faced when the state lost many of its manufacturing jobs.
He praised the administration’s new executive order, “Hire American, Buy American,” saying that creating U.S. jobs “helps us all.”
Manchin conceded it is hard to compete with lower-cost, outsourced foreign companies, but he said the U.S. is still home to "the best innovators and creators” and workers.
Manchin said the U.S. is more expensive, but it also has a better quality of life, citing countries with no minimum wage.
“You know, you're not going to be able to compete with Vietnamese at less than $1 an hour, and there's a lot of countries that pay no minimum wage at all, so with that being said, I think that we have to reshuffle the deck, if you will, and give us a chance,” Manchin said.
Manchin also voiced support for “a tax overhaul” that would make the U.S. more competitive on a global scale.