OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The president seemed to be in his element Monday at the kickoff for Made in America Week, bantering comfortably with company representatives he invited to the White House to showcase their American-made goods.
When President Donald Trump stopped by a display of dinnerware from West Virginia, he declared, “I love West Virginia, I love West Virginia. Had a great victory in West Virginia, tell everybody I said hi.”
He also seemed to enjoy the display of large U.S.-made vehicles on the South Lawn, including a fire truck that he climbed into, telling Vice President Mike Pence, “Where’s the fire? We’ll put it out fast!”
Trump invited companies from all 50 states like Campbell Soup, headquartered in New Jersey, and the California Wine Institute to the White House where he delivered a speech encouraging domestic manufacturing.
“Remember in the old days, they used to have ‘Made in the U.S.A.’? ‘Made in America’ … We’re going to start doing that again. We’re going to put that brand on our product because it means it’s the best,” the president said.
Trump also tried on a Stetson cowboy hat.
And he jabbed at members of the media who were present. As he swung a baseball bat made by Louisiana-based Marucci Sports, the president gestured toward the press, “I didn’t even think of these guys! Are the[y] ready?”
Made in America Week continues a trend of themed weeks at the White House, such as Infrastructure Week and Energy Week. In addition to Trump’s speech it included a ceremony commissioning the latest U.S.-build Navy aircraft carrier.
But when press secretary Sean Spicer was asked at Monday’s press briefing about whether the Trump Organization or Ivanka Trump brands would commit “to stop manufacturing wares abroad,” he shifted the focus to Trump’s attempts to cultivate other companies’ domestic production efforts.
“I think what’s really important is the president’s agenda — regulatory relief and tax relief — are focused on trying to make sure that all companies can hire here, can expand here, can manufacture here,” said Spicer.
On the matter of Trump-branded items, he added, “I can tell you that in some cases, there are certain supply chains or scalability that may not be available in this country.”
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