WASHINGTON (WSVN) — A South Florida couple visiting the nation’s capital were surprised to discover the small replica of the White House they had bought at its souvenir shop was not made in the United States.
Jacqueline Henriquez and her husband went to the White House during their trip to Washington, D.C., last week. The Kendall couple bought souvenirs at a gift shop inside the iconic building.
The couple’s visit coincided with events where President Donald Trump showcased products, like a pair of pliers, a cowboy hat and even a fire truck, that might appear to have little in common but do share one trait.
“Made in the USA, made in America,” said Trump. “Do you remember in the old days? We used to say ‘made in the USA.'”
And that’s where this story takes an ironic turn. Henriquez opened the box containing a mini-replica of the White House she had purchased, picked it up and looked on the bottom.
“This replica of the White House, you know, how could it be made in China?” she said.
That’s right, The ceramic ornament is being sold inside the White House but bears a “Made in China” sticker at the bottom.
The souvenir, priced at $19.95, is topped with a U.S. flag and even has a red, white and blue ribbon.
But the patriotic decoration gives little consolation to Henriquez, who’s feeling more than a little let down by the discovery. “I feel very disappointed, especially when I told my grandson that I couldn’t give it to him ’cause it’s not made in the USA,” she said. “He asked me, ‘Where is it made?’ And I said, ‘It’s made in China’ and, you know, he’s 10 years old, and he said, ‘That doesn’t make any sense.'”
To confound the situation further, Henriquez did not find out about the ornament’s East Asian origin until she got back to South Florida. She said she’d asked an employee where the mini replica was made and was told it was American-made.
Then she found out it wasn’t. “Had I known, I would have returned it right away,” she said. “On the receipt, it says it can be returned in 30 days, but there’s no telephone number, there’s no address.”
The address of the White House is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., but the store inside is operated by a nonprofit private organization called “The White House Historical Association,” founded in 1961 by then-first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
A spokesperson for the nonprofit told 7News, “The ornament in question is not our official ornament and is no longer for sale. Most of the items in our shops are designed and manufactured in the U.S. We always work with American companies to produce our products and make every effort to provide vendors in the U.S. the opportunity to manufacture them.”
Other items Henriquez purchased at the store, like a magnet, were made in this country.
Still, her message is a simple one. “I think that as Americans we should demand that everything that’s being sold, especially inside the White House, is made in the USA.”
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