From Cherry Trees to Giant Pandas: Gifts to the United States

symbolic gestures of friendship and used to solidify relationships—not just between heads of state or government officials, but also from the people of one country to the people of another. America’s Founding Fathers tried to ban the practice of accepting gifts from foreign entities, viewing them as a corrupting influence on diplomacy. The Articles of Incorporation strictly prohibited gifts from being accepted by government representatives, while the U.S. Constitution states that gifts can be received so long as Congress approves: