Business owners from every state in the country were invited late last week to travel to the White House to present their products at the White House for the "Made in America" showcase.
The showcase served as the kick off to President Donald Trump’s "Made in America" theme week, which White House officials said aims to bring attention back to hardworking American laborers.
Every state was represented, with showcased products ranging from neon signs to donuts to helicopters. However, no representative from D.C. was selected for the showcase.
When asked about the omission, an aide said, "We're honored to showcase 'Made in America' from all 50 States."
Virginia’s National Capital Flag Company Inc. and Maryland's Heath’s Crab Pots were the area vendors selected to participate. Representatives from both businesses said it was an honor to be selected to represent their state in the showcase.
“We got the phone call last week, and we couldn’t wait to put everything together and get over here,” said Albert Ulmner, who operates National Capital Flag Company. “We’re used to dealing with the government being here locally but being invited to the White House like this is just thrilling.”
Susan Heath of Heath’s Crab Pots said the showcase was a celebration of American business building.
“You can’t imagine how much pride it is,” Heath said. “I did that, we did that.”
Other business owners from around the country echoed the pride they felt in having been selected to represent their states.
“It’s more than just a living for me,” said Peter St. Pierre, of St. Pierre Manufacturing. “It’s an identity.”
The showcase marked the beginning of the “Made in America” themed week. Though vendors shared enthusiasm for the festivities surrounding the week, not everyone has been so supportive.
Critics have been quick to point out that the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, producing clothing for her brand in overseas factories.
Politico reported that officials wouldn’t say whether the president would use the week to try to encourage his daughter to move production for her brand to the U.S.
The week will also feature a certification event on Wednesday. All of the theme week events take place as the controversial Republican health care bill nears a vote.
"Made in America" week is the first in a series of three consecutive themed weeks announced by the White House. "American Heroes" week will begin next week, followed by "American Dreams" week, starting July 31.
Jenn Vasquez contributed to this report.