Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke fired back at Patagonia on Tuesday after the outdoor apparel company made a high-profile protest to President Donald Trump‘s decision to shrink two national monuments.
Patagonia posted a message on its website Monday night under a blaring headline, “The President Stole Your Land.” The message was in a response to Trump drastically reducing the Bears Ears National Monument and the Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments in Utah hours earlier. “This is the largest elimination of protected land in American history,” the company said.
Zinke said on Fox and Friends Tuesday, “It’s interesting you know, these companies that make their products other places, on foreign shores.”
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“There is not one square inch that leaves the federal estate but we do restore national forest to a National Forest, restore wilderness, and we open up our public land to the public, greater access, making sure hunting and fishing rights, grazing,” he added. “There are multigenerational ranching families that found their livelihood being threatened.”
“We need to make sure we’re actively managing our lands,” he said. “Public use is important, and our land is for the benefit and enjoyment of the people and not special interest groups.”
In a 2012 blog post, Patagonia explained that the company had 16 factories worldwide, including in the United States. The company said it manufactured some of its clothing overseas partially because of trade agreements like NAFTA, which Trump frequently railed against in the 2016 campaign for eliminating American jobs.
“We cannot make a claim to be a ‘Made in America’ company; we have always sourced at least half our products outside the U.S.,” the company wrote at the time. “It is very difficult for clothing companies to find factories in the U.S. that meet our standards; the textile industry is much smaller; the work has shifted overseas.”
Some of members of the Trump Administration are associated with companies that produced work overseas, as well. A Washington Post report published in July found that First Daughter Ivanka Trump’s company exclusively manufactures products overseas. Trump, a senior White House advisor, stepped down from her company after her father became president, although the New York Times reported she transferred her assets to a trust and still has veto power over potential deals.