How Much Campaign Merchandise Is Made in the U.S.?
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The 2016 presidential election is still more than a year away, but the candidates have been stocking campaign stores with merchandise, such as cellphone cases, T-shirts and pocket-sized Constitutions. Most candidates are touting American-made items, but how much of their campaign merchandise is actually made in the U.S.?
Alliance for American Manufacturing reports that Republican candidates John Kasich, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio join Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in selling only U.S.-made merchandise.
Other candidates, including Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker, feature merchandise made in America, but also feature some imported items.
According to CBS News, Rand Paul met criticism over a T-shirt that said "Defeat the Washington Machine, Unleash the American Dream," when it was revealed that the shirt was made in Guatemala.
"All of our products are either made in America, or printed in America," a spokesman for the Paul campaign told CBS. "The [campaign] store was built and is run in the heartland of America. Unfortunately, not all products sold in the U.S. are American-made, but we are continually looking for products to offer that are."
During the 2012 race, both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama sold only American-made items.
Some candidates might look toward foreign-made items due to cost. Meaghan Burdick, who ran marketing on both of Obama's presidential campaigns, told CBS News that domestic products can be more expensive, but set a tone.
"We felt extremely strongly about it," Burdick said to CBS. "We tried to have everything union-made, so it was made in the U.S. and union printed."
Sean Spicer, communications director for the Republican National Committee, told CBS News that some Republican candidates may be more flexible when it comes to sourcing globally, and by sourcing overseas they show their support of free trade.
"We live in a global society," Spicer said to CBS. "We are a party that welcomes and believes in free trade."
E Brendan Menapace Author's page
Brendan Menapace is the senior digital editor for Promo Marketing. While writing and editing stories come naturally to him, writing his own bio does not.