*From:* Benning, Tom [mailto:xxx@dallasnews.com]
*Sent:* Monday, July 17, 2017 5:02 PM
*Subject:* pool report #4 -- Inside portion of Made in America showcase

OK, picking back up with the Made in America showcase:

Most of the Made in America showcase occurred indoors,where we got to see POTUS and VPOTUS visit with five or six companies. The duo entered the Blue Room around 3:15 p.m. They immediately came upon a table full of baseball bats made by Marucci Sports of Louisiana, and Trump was quick up a bat.

"These are nice," he said.

Trump took a few practice swings as he peppered the company representative with questions. He wanted to know what kind of wood the bats were made of. (They were mostly maple.) He asked why they picked maple. (It's a harder wood.) He asked about different parts of the business.

"Are they still doing aluminum in high school?" Trump asked.

He then made his way toHomer Laughlin China Company, which had a variety of dinnerware set up. "Beautiful stuff," Trump said. The company's representative said they produce some pieces for "the golf course." "Oh, I see that," Trump said. "It looks good." Trump then learned that the company was based in West Virginia.

"I love West Virginia," he said. "It was a great victory in West Virginia."

Trump eventually made his way to the Red Room, where he was greeted by a selection of PING putters.

"Look at that," he said. "Ah, look at that."

Trump said PING is "doing really well," adding that the company's "market share is growing all the time." He specifically praised PING for their drivers.

Up next was Sikorsky, the helicopter manufacturer. Trump told the company reps: "I know Sikorsky very well. ... I have three of them." The rep responded, "We want to thank you for being a loyal customer for many, many years."

Trump then asked, "How's the 76-D doing?"

The rep responded, "It's doing better. It's starting to get a lift in market share. We're finding some export markets. There's nothing better than making something here and selling something abroad.

Then it was on to Massachusetts' St. Pierre Manufacturing, which makes horseshoes that are used for the game. "There's nothing like the real deal," Trump said. "This is pretty close." The president asked how business was going.

"It's good," the company rep said, explaining how the internet was changing the retail market.

Trump asked which horseshoe was most expensive. The rep handed him one called "The Eagle." Trump asked why it was the priciest. The rep explained that it has bigger tips and more weight. "So this would be ultimately more accurate?" Trump asked.

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."

The pool was separated from the president for the rest of the tour. But Trump did make one noteworthy stop in the East Room, where Stetson had set up a table of cowboy hats. With a big crowd looking on, Trump tried on a white Stetson to loud applause.

Highlights from Trump's speech to come.


Tom Benning

The Dallas Morning News


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