Release: Sanders Welcomes Smithsonian Response

WINDSOR, Vt., Jan. 21 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today welcomed assurances by National Museum of American History director that the Smithsonian will make a “serious effort” to offer more American-made merchandise in museum gift shops.

Sanders had questioned why the gift shop stocks bronze-colored busts of U.S. presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama that are “crafted in China.” 

Sanders questioned that practice in a letter sent Tuesday to Brent D. Glass, the history museum director. “Given the state of the American economy, I would urge the National Museum of American History to do its very best to find American companies to manufacture the products that it sells,” Sanders said. 

The museum director was quick to respond. “I will make a very serious effort to find merchandise like the presidential busts that is made in the United States and that we can offer at a competitive price to our visitors,” Glass said in a Jan. 20 letter to the senator.

Glass also said the museum is working on an exhibition about American enterprise that is “focused on the marketplace – consumption, production and ingenuity.”