Politics

Trump’s ‘Made in America’ showcase highlights. . . Narragansett Beer?

HANDOUT/FILE

A local brewery was among the products highlighted by President Donald Trump at his “Made in America” showcase at the White House on Monday.

Rhode Island-based Narragansett Beer was featured among the items, which ranged from door hinges, to a firetruck, to fried chicken from Chick-fil-A, according to a pool report.

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Gansett’s president, Mark Hellendrung, told the Globe on Monday that the White House reached out to the company last week to participate in the event.

Hellendrung said he’s aware that many of his customers may not necessarily be fans of Trump, but said he decided to participate because he has a strong belief in American-made products and independent businesses.

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“Let’s just honor the White House and being at the White House, and these great other American-made products,” he said of the decision to send his beer to the event. “It was something we considered long and hard and it wasn’t necessarily easy.”

Hellendrung said the company was glad to be part of “some great recognition of some awesome brands.”

The showcase, which featured products from all 50 states, was meant to put a national spotlight on American-made goods, even as the Trump administration remains distracted by the Russia scandal and accusations of hypocrisy.

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Representing Massachusetts was St. Pierre Manufacturing, which makes horseshoes for the game of the same title.

St. Pierre Manufacturing of Worcester, Mass., was at the White House event.

Handout/The White House

St. Pierre Manufacturing of Worcester, Mass., was at the White House event.

“There’s nothing like the real deal,” Trump said of the horseshoes, according to a pool report. “This is pretty close.”

When the president asked how business was going, a company representative told him that “It’s good,” and explained how the Internet was changing the retail market.

When Trump asked which horseshoe was most expensive, the representative handed him one called “The Eagle.” When Trump asked why it was the priciest, the representative explained that it has bigger tips and more weight.

“So this would be ultimately more accurate?” Trump said.

The company rep then added they had brought Trump a gift of presidential horseshoes.

“Beautiful, we’ll put them in the White House,” Trump said. “We’ll play horseshoes tonight with the press.”

Trump then lifted the gift box, noting, “That sucker is heavy.”

In a statement, Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts said he was “glad to see a strong Worcester manufacturer getting the recognition they deserve for being a true-blue made-in-America company that’s been family-owned and operated for generations.”

In remarks made during the event, the president said that he wants to “build, create, and grow more products in our country using American labor, American goods, and American grit.”

However, Trump has faced criticism that his family’s many product lines are manufactured overseas, including merchandise sold under his own name and his eldest daughter’s, such as clothing items and shoes.

Asked whether the president would use his ‘‘Made in America’’ week to commit the Trump organization and his daughter’s brand to make more of their products in America, rather than overseas, spokeswoman Helen Aguirre Ferre was non-committal.

‘‘We’ll get back to you on that,’’ she said.

President Donald Trump swung a Marucci baseball bat in the Blue Room during a "Made in America" product showcase.

OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump swung a Marucci baseball bat in the Blue Room during a "Made in America" product showcase.

Related:

How Narragansett became cool again

Material from the Associated Press and White House pool report was used in this report.
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