ANGOLA, Ind. — Participants in Indiana’s Bicentennial Torch Relay will wear uniforms made in foreign countries.
The Indiana Office of Tourism Development hired Indianapolis-based Personalized Corporate Services Inc. to supply the outfits, which were made in China, Honduras and Nicaragua, The (Angola) Herald Republican reported (http://bit.ly/2cLm3dM)
It comes at a time when Gov. Mike Pence is running mate to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, whose platform includes bringing jobs back to the U.S. and punishing companies that leave the U.S. for cheaper labor.
Campaign spokesman for gubernatorial candidate John Gregg, who is running against Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, said it’s disappointing that the uniforms were outsourced to foreign businesses.
“One would think they would have used Indiana, or at least American-made products, for this celebration,” said Jeff Harris, Gregg’s spokesman. “Regardless of if it’s incompetence or negligence, this is disrespectful to Hoosier workers and our rich history as a producer of goods.”
The sponsor of the torchbearer uniforms is Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance, whose website says it focuses on providing insurance exclusively in Indiana.
Both Indiana Farmers spokesman Bart Anderson and Pence’s office deferred questions about the uniforms to the tourism development office.
“The winning bid was an Indiana business vendor,” said Amy Howell, director of communications for the tourism development office. “It was the best available product to meet the needs of IOTD.”
It’s unknown whether any of the printing, embroidery or other customization was done in the U.S.
Personalized Corporate Services didn’t respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.
Torchbearers will pass through all 92 counties before the event ends Oct. 15 in Indianapolis.