January 29th, 2009
01:31 PM ET
7 months ago

Capitol Visitors Center told to send back 'Made in China' items

A Pennsylvania Congressman is concerned about souvenirs intended for sale in the Capitol Hill Visitors Center that are imported from China.
A Pennsylvania Congressman is concerned about souvenirs intended for sale in the Capitol Hill Visitors Center that are imported from China.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Washington souvenirs worth $100,000 - including images of the Capitol dome and printings of the U.S. Constitution - are locked in storage, blocked from sale in the new U.S. Capitol Visitors Center because the items are made in China.

Rep. Bob Brady, D-Pennsylvania, chairman of the House Administration Committee, told CNN Radio that he warned operators of the visitors center not
to purchase merchandise made outside the United States, but they did it anyway.

Although the center has the goods in hand, Brady said, "I'm not allowing them to sell those products."


His Administration Committee oversees operations in the House of Representatives, including the House restaurant, parking facilities and the Capitol Visitors Center. A spokesman for the committee said other House gift shops also are under restrictions on items made outside the United States.

Brady, whose district includes Philadelphia, insists it's wrong for tourists to return home with a souvenir from the nation's capital that bears a "'Made in China' sticker."

"We can certainly find people that can make souvenirs of the nation's capital in America," Brady said. In the past 10 days, he said, up to 40 U.S. companies have contacted his officer eager to provide Capitol souvenirs and trinkets.

As for the items the Capitol Visitors Center operators got from China, Brady said: "They made the mistake, they can send them back."

He concedes the visitors center may have to pay shipping costs to return the goods, but said, "If we have to lose a little bit, we'll lose a little bit."


Filed under: Capitol Hill
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Beah

    I am very willing to pay a little more FOR merchandise that are made in the U.S.A. I hope the with the highest quality.

    January 29, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. a newly blue state-VA

    What Limpbutt won't tell people is that in the stimulus package, there is a paragraph that says: companies getting money for manufacturing can only use the money for steel, etc that is produced in the US!!! Companies also must pay the workers what they would normally make for that job (not paying them pennies for the work); this provides lots of jobs and helps manufacturing companies (if there are anymore left)..........

    January 29, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. JPM from Canada

    ITS ABOUT TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 29, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. Tom

    They knew the rules for new visitors center and disreguarded them anyway. It should come out of their paychecks, let them work as indentured servants until it is paid off. Maybe the next time they will do what they are told and not how to pad their own pockets.

    January 29, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. nick

    I don't think we want to cut off goods from other countries. However, all Gov. facilites, in all 50 states, that sell souvenirs should sell only
    items made in this country or in their state..

    January 29, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. hypocrisy?

    Yes, let's hate anything and everything from other countries as much as we can! America first and only America! We are better than everybody, and we are the only people on the earth anyone should care about! Don't help other people in other countries! Don't let any of the other 95% of human beings on this earth have and of "our" jobs! America first!

    This is the new attitude! This is the new tone of America! This is great for our new foreign policy attitude of being "nice" to all the other countries...

    January 29, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. BO

    "Movies and other American stuff that are sold worldwide"

    Yeah counterfeit. Where have these people been? We need to rebuild our manufacturing base or soon we'll be buying tanks and airplanes from China. Free trade has limits and we need to start somewhere. If we want to be at the top we need to put US first. If Obama is smart he'll realize we can't help anyone until we can help ourselves or he will loose support of the people in this country. It's why Bush was an idiot he spent trillions in Iraq while we don't have jobs. A deserving fitting getting slammed with the shoe and all; no good deed goes unpunished. I lean republican but leaders don't get dumber than that. I didn't vote for Obama but I support this decision. Fair trade, time to dictate our terms. When will Obama leave Iraq so we can stop wasting our money and blood on people who want to kill one another? Every day is a wasted dime (maybe millions in this case).

    "And send the green-card holders home if there's a qualified American that can do the job."

    Can't do that we have a legal obligation to people we give permanent legal status. Don't be stupid. The more appropriate statement would be don't give green cards to people who are here illegally or to those who don't have legal base for getting it.

    January 29, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. Northofsouth

    If they were told only USA products then they should be booted out for spending this money ordering/shipping these items here in the first place is just another place of wasted spending others money.

    January 29, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. cat

    Hopefully if we shout loud enough Washington will hear us now that we have a new President in office....WE WANT AMERICAN GOODS..
    WE WANT TO INVEST OUR MONEY INTO OUR OWN LAND.
    AMERICA IS NOT FOR SELL...AT ANY PRICE...AND NEITHER IS AMERICANS......

    January 29, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Terry

    Globalization was a horrible idea. We can blame the elder Bush and Clinton for it. Now, our future as a nation and our prosperity are no longer under our own control. We are at the end of a very long supply chain, and we cannot control what happens at the other end of it.

    Conservatism really double-crossed us when they sold us that bill of goods.

    January 29, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. BO

    Correction, I thought it was the Obama administration that sent them back when in fact it was a congressman.

    January 29, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
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