After about 41:20 in the YouTube video for the PBS NewsHour full episode March 13, 2019 it is reported that some asbestos mined in Russia destined for the US bears a stamp of US president Donald Trump's face.

It mostly comes from Brazil, but in 2017 that country banned the mineral, as have more than sixty other nations. As Brazil winds down production, asbestos imports will increasingly come from Russia; some shipments are stamped with the seal of the president’s face, along with the words “Approved by Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States."

Why is this done? Is this just some local workers having a bit of fun, or does this represent some official approval process or shipping requirement?

Relevant is some information a little earlier, around 39:40:

So in 2016 Congress and the Obama administration enacted an updated Toxic Substances Control Act. The idea, give the EPA more teeth to regulate asbestos, and other hazardous chemicals that remain in the environment.

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    or does this represent some official approval process or shipping requirement It's already a lot of fun to hear someone could assume this seriously... Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 12:31
  • @seven-phases-max who? where did you hear this?
    – uhoh
    Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 12:32
  • You did, right in the question. Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 12:33
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    Sorry, I did not mean to make fun of you or offend you in any way. But this is the core of the jokes like that (yes, this were "local workers having a bit of fun" or a sort of) - to troll some "Westerners" (some will laugh, some will be confused, some will be frightened). I won't wonder if somewhere at 2020 this video will pop-up again as a proof of Russians trying to interfere in POTUS elections :) Commented Mar 14, 2019 at 12:56
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    Actual context: factcheck.org/2018/09/… Commented Aug 31, 2020 at 23:11

1 Answer 1


Trump made it easier for Russia to export asbestos to the U.S. He has a track record of being pro-asbestos as well. There is no requirement to have his face on the shipments, but it makes a good news story, because people who hate Trump see it as disgusting, and pro-Trump people support the move. Trump himself likely enjoyed his face being stamped on the package as well. It's just advertising though, and it has been a very successful advertisement.

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