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THE NATION

Clothes Made Overseas Sold by Bush '04

March 20, 2004|From Newsday

NEW YORK — The Bush-Cheney reelection campaign vowed Friday to sell only American-made goods following the disclosure that its official merchandise website sold clothing originating in Mexico and Myanmar.

Newsday reported in Friday's editions that a shipment of campaign goods it received included a fleece pullover made in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and a T-shirt made in Mexico.

President Bush signed an executive order in July banning imports from Myanmar because of its dismal human rights record. Also, outsourcing to all foreign countries has been a sensitive campaign topic this year.

"The merchandiser has apologized, accepted responsibility and assured the campaign that this will never happen again," said Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt. "The campaign is committed to ensuring that only made-in-America products are offered through the website."

The Spalding Group, a Louisville, Ky.-based company that works exclusively with Republican political campaigns, handles the Bush-Cheney '04 merchandise. In a letter to the campaign Friday, president Ted Jackson noted that his purchase order to a vendor had specified U.S.-made goods. "Unfortunately, in one of our recent shipments, a vendor inadvertently supplied us with foreign goods," he said, "and our own company did not discover this mistake before distribution to the public."

The vendor, Colorado Trading & Clothing, conceded in a letter to Spalding that it made a mistake in shipping the Myanmar items. Those items were brought into the United States legally last year before the import ban went into effect on Sept. 1, Colorado Trading's president, Jeff Schmitt, said.

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