Buying US Presidential Merch Abroad is Illegal
Plenty of Americans have purchased a hat supporting Donald Trump's campaign to "Make America Great Again," or a "Chillary Clinton" can cooler, but for our neighbors to the north, supporting a candidate could also mean breaking the law.
The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) ruled that a promotional product endorsing a political nominee is a "fundraising item." The rule indicates that "if a contributor spends $20 to buy a campaign T-shirt that cost the campaign $5, the contributor has made a $20 donation."
Because of this rule, Canadians cannot purchase campaign merchandise directly from a candidate's website, as it is illegal for non-U.S. citizens to contribute to a campaign.
Hillary Clinton took measures to prevent foreign citizens from purchasing her memorabilia by canceling all attempted purchase from outside the U.S.
"Sales are restricted to American citizens," reads Clinton's FAQ page. "Orders placed by non-American citizens will be cancelled and refunded."
The only exception to the rule is for permanent U.S. residents with a green card.
According to Global News Canada, it's also illegal for foreigners to give money to Americans to purchase memorabilia on their behalf. The FEC prohibits U.S. citizens from "acting as a conduit or intermediary for foreign national contributions and donations."
Canadian fans of U.S. candidates, such as Trump, do have options, however. Online retailers, such as Amazon, are offering similar Trump hats with shipping available to Canada.