IN THE NEWS: Rep. Braun’s company’s own brand made in China, AP report shows, directly contradicting numerous Braun campaign claims

Promaxx Automotive, brand of Rep. Braun’s company “seldom… [mentioned]” by his campaign, manufactures its products in China while Rep. Braun falsely claimed his company was “made in America”

INDIANAPOLIS – Rep. Braun’s company’s own line of parts are largely made in China, according to a bombshell report from the Associated Press today, revealing that Rep. Braun’s repeated insistence that his company is wholly American – and that it’s only a handful of third-party suppliers that are foreign – is a sham.

Promaxx Automotive, a brand of Rep. Braun’s Meyer Distributing that sells after-market auto parts, manufactures the bulk of its auto parts in China, including running boards, bumpers, brush guards, truck racks, and winches. Yet Braun has repeatedly lied on the campaign trail about his company, claiming at one point that his “business is never involved in anything overseas” other than some third-party manufacturers while rarely if ever mentioning Promaxx.

Today’s report is the first time Rep. Braun’s company has been reported to directly make and sell its own line of parts, and they appear to largely come at the expense of American workers. Despite running to represent one of the largest auto manufacturing states in the country, it would seem that when Rep. Braun wants to make and directly sell auto parts himself, he doesn’t trust Hoosiers – he trusts China.

From the Associated Press: GOP nominee who rails against outsourcing has brand that markets Chinese parts: AP

The off-road accessory was shipped in a box emblazoned with the logo of an auto parts brand owned by Mike Braun, a multimillionaire businessman who often rails against foreign outsourcing in his bid to become Indiana’s next senator.

The words “Made in China” were stamped across the packaging.

Braun frequently criticizes his opponent… for once owning stock in a family business his brother runs that operates a factory in Mexico. However, the Republican nominee’s own parts brand, Promaxx Automotive, sells products that were similarly manufactured abroad, according to a review by The Associated Press.

It has been well documented that Braun’s national auto parts distribution company, Meyer Distributing, ships and sells other companies’ goods that are made outside of the U.S. Such practice doesn’t leave him vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy, he argues, because as a distributor he only resells the parts and has no control over where the companies make them.

But the revelation about the Chinese origin of much of his own products line, which Meyer trademarked with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, draws into question some of Braun’s statements on the campaign trail, where he seldom — if ever — mentions Promaxx.

Braun’s campaign would not say what percentage of Promaxx parts are made in America

“My business is never involved in anything overseas other than some of the companies that we distribute their products,” he said in December at a GOP breakfast in Bloomington, Indiana.

While it’s difficult to tell where many of the Braun’s Promaxx products are manufactured, the AP was able to trace some accessories sold under the brand.

To do so, the AP purchased from Amazon one of Braun’s brand of winches, a device used to pull stuck 4×4 vehicles out of the mud. The box that arrived was labeled “Made in China” in several places on the accessory and packaging.

Numerous other products, including running boards and a specialized Jeep hood, were similarly listed as manufactured in China on websites that retail Promaxx goods, including Amazon, CARiD and eBay.

Among the findings:

— Running boards, bumpers, brush guards and truck racks listed in the Promaxx catalog were supplied by Westin Automotive, which has received more than 700 shipments of such products from China since 2007. While several items in the company’s catalog were labeled as made in America, these products were not. Panjiva records also show Chinese shipments of these accessories were delivered to one of Braun’s warehouses in Arlington, Texas, including one made this past June.

— Another Promaxx supplier, California-based CYC Engineering, has received more than 400 shipments of similar products from Chinese manufacturers over the last decade.

— Bulldog Winch Co., a supplier Braun uses for off-road recovery equipment, has received hundreds of thousands of pounds of winches and accessory imports from China. Braun’s own company has also received about a half dozen shipments of winches and winch accessories in recent years from one of the same Chinese manufacturers, Panjiva records show. The winch purchased by AP was shipped from Braun’s company headquarters in Jasper, Indiana.

But, [University of Evansville professor Robert Dion] added, there’s a catch: “If you’re going to say one thing and do another, that becomes a problem.”

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