Wednesday, April 14, 2010

U. S. STATE DEPARTMENT TO REPLACE GOBLETS

A dealer just asked me if I had read the latest issue of Glass Shards, the newsletter of the National American Glass Club. There is an article about Steuben Glass, the company's problems and need to lay off workers because they have lost so much business in the economic down turn. On the next page is an article about Orrefors, the Swedish glass company.  They were chosen for  a $5.4 million contract from the U. S. State Department to make glasses for 400 American Embassies. Each glass will be engraved with the seal of the United States. Critics are furious that the government did not keep the jobs at home with a company founded in 1903. We just learned that the U.S. Senator from New York has asked that the glass contract be rebid so that a U.S. company will be considered. But there is also another reason to have U.S. made products used. Our embassies, as representatives of our country, should be furnished with the best the United States can produce--a way to brag about the quality of U.S. products.

78 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree totally!!!!! Our Embassies should use ONLY American made products and be an example of our tradition.

Collette Peterson said...

I demand to know who purchased these "glasses" to begin with!!!

Anonymous said...

PLEASE post an update on this story when available. We pray the US will do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Let's make them at Home and actually employ good ole citizen taxpayers of the United States of America!

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely outrageous. There is no question that an American company - especially one with as fine a product as Stuben, should have been awarded this product. Never mind the bidding process. A foreign company should not be and should not have been considered.

Anonymous said...

For shame! Yes, they should use an American company! And while they are at it, they should look into Blenko Glass--I am sure they could use some help!

Anonymous said...

This is a very good example of why we suffer at home while others laugh at us abroad.

Anonymous said...

No wonder American jobs are being lost. Even the State Department doesn't get it. Buy American first!!

majeral said...

And this surprises you? We do it all the time, state and local governments buying foreign cars.If it has to be forced then it should be a law. How sad for us.

Anonymous said...

I agree .......we should make more things in our proud country!! Charity begins at home and if we did not send jobs over seas, our economy would be in much better shape. More folks would have a job and we'd be keeping our money at home, where it belongs!!!

bacov said...

You are right on target with your comment. It's just dumb, dumb, dumb to buy from a foreign suppier in this case. Get the price right, then buy American!

rouletn said...

it would seem to me that Steuben should be awarded the contract or at least be able to bid on the work. Yes we live in a global community but our embassies should have American made products being used in them.

Anonymous said...

If more people were aware of outsourcing like this, maybe we would not be in such financial trouble in the USA! Great catch and I hope the USA keeps the jobs here!

Anonymous said...

Who are the government employees that make these bone-headed decisions in the first place? They seem to have no awareness of who pays their wages and provides the pension benefits that many of us don't have. Government too big to think!

Janet said...

The article in "Glass Shards" does not include the value of the contract with Orrefors. What was the source of that figure and is it reliable?
I agree that our embassies should be furnished with the best of our country's products. But, the contract specified lead-free glass. Can Steuben produce high-quality glass ware that is lead free?

Jennifer said...

I think the U.S. Senator from New York is absolutely CORRECT! While I appreciate the beauty of glass creations from other countries, we should always support our own creative individuals and companies within the United States of America. Steuben Glass has been a leader of fine glass and a part of our great history for many, many decades and they should always be considered to represent our country before another company in a foreign nation.

Anne Mehring, said...

This is outsourcing at its very worst! Steuben Glass makes a wonderful product. I hope the NY senator succeeds in getting the rebid, tho it should be a mandate that all US embasies be furnished with US made goods where feasible.

Anonymous said...

This action is an abomination and our State Dept. is a party to it. Political correctness has gone too far. Keep our companies operating and our workers employed. This angers me more than I can express.

Anonymous said...

I wrote a letter to President Obama about this issue saying that this glassware should be made in the USA!

Jeannette said...

I agree whole heartedly! I am from Corning, NY area originally and know the impact that Corning has on the entire area. Why are we not using "USA made" everything, and especially for our Embassies!

Jeannette Mospaw

Anonymous said...

I am in total agreement that a U.S.
company should be furnishing the goblets/glasses for the various U.S.Embassies. Also any other dinnerware, flatware, utensils maybe even cookware. I do believe that other countries are always ready to "flaunt" their wares even their nuclear wares so why should the best country in the world not behave the same? It is a real slap in the face to not have our U.S. made wares produced for the use of our embassy functions.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for telling us about the fake American goblets we tax payers are buying. There are times when buying overseas may make sense.

Items meant for inspiring or showing pride in America should be American.

U.S. Sailor's Mom

Kristen, NY said...

I searched online: NY Senators Schumer and Gillebrand and Sen. Brown of Ohio are addressing this outrageous no-bid contract. American glass companies will be able to bid, but evidently not until fall 2010. Former NY Sen. Clinton should have done much better on this as 1) she knows well the economic problems in the state and 2) outsourcing production goes against what she has said about the U.S. needing to manufacture goods to remain strong. The State Dept. acknowledges an "error" in not ascertaining that Steuben does make the lead-free glass they need. Ridiculous!

catcatman said...

The choice of Orrefors was likely made due to several factors: their long history in the world of glass-making, the unsurpassed quality of their glass and their excellence in design. I have a large collection of vintage Orrefors glass, most from the 1940's to 1960's and have become a semi-expert in knowing their various designers and patterns. I believe that their best work was done from 1930-1959, due mainly to the influences of Vicke Lindstrand, Sven Palmquist, Ingeborg Lundin and Olle Alberius. The choice of Orrefors for this present contract was ideally based on artistic merit and was not purely a financial decision.

Imagine how different our art history would be if Pope Julius II had solicited bids for the Sistine Chapel ceiling -- and had selected one of the lowest bidders -- instead of wisely selecting Michelangelo based on his immense talent and inspired imagination.

MDS
Haymarket, Virginia

carol said...

Just another example of screwed up beaurocrats who act like there is something wrong with being American! As if they are ashamed of our great country's accomplishments, so they have to go to another country for something like this, that anyone with half a brain should be able to see belong's to an American company!

Anonymous said...

I think it is absolutely appaulling that it was even considered to have the goblets used in our embassies contracted to foreign manufacturers. I agree that American pride and workmanship should be demonstrated within our embassies. This means American goods everywhere for everything in them down to the toilet paper that they use and their goblets and dinnerware,etc.
I didn't realize that so much of our industry had been lost to foreigners.

Anonymous said...

I am in total agreement with your views.

Anonymous said...

I am in total agreement with your views.

"Honey" said...

The US shhould be represented by American products!

joan said...

This glassware award disaster amply demonstrates how pitiful are the various governmental workings of our beloved USA. The agncies are either out in space or on the dole; there can be no other reason for such incompetence. And if there are, it is even more scary. (OHMYGAWD WHAT DO THE SPOONS COST?) None is acceptable to say the very very least.

In even the richest, most resplendent economic situation, I MIGHT, in quotes "might", though extremely doubtful-- unless there were not a single hungry person in the world-- see the value of millions of taxpayer dollars spent for goblets at USA embassies.
It absolutely make one's brain spin as to the possible JUSTIFICATION for such expenditure in this struggling economy (to be mild) which slams the door right on the toes of our U.S. own glass producer par excellance. It laughs at our job stimulus efforts. Isn't there some famous quote about the right hand not knowing about the left hand's doings? It appears that's just what we have here. At least I hope so, because otherwise we have more than significant problems. (Aside: Amazing how there can be so many considerations about a US Embassy goblet. Which brings the questions: Is the taxpayer currently equally "screwed" on purchases of U.S.Embassy china? serving pieces?
Flatware? Linens?)
Tomorrow, April 15, the day most Americans will pay, or reconcile that already paid, thousands of dollars for which they worked so hard. It makes me weep to think of millions, yes! millions of those hard- to-hang-onto dollars going for a goblets , made in another country to be used in yet another country. Man! That's really though to swallow!
I am thankful to Kovels for keeping us informed. And to also animate us to realize it is OUR money that is being spent and it behooves us to watch those who are spending it. Thus,Kovels, I ask you: what leads can you give us as to who is spending our $$$ on embassy glassware?
Kovels, within good duty, pease provide us with the names of those USA employees and agencies who were/are responsible for such decisions.

Anonymous said...

Could someone please explain what political motive supported this decision. It seems less then understandable why an item of any type would be "outsourced" to another country. I have great respect for Orrefors glass and Sweden. But we have the ability, talent and resources to produce an equally attractive commemorative goblet in the US. I thought we were supposed to be considering ecological footprints as well as support for home industries.

Kelly said...

Typically in our government, the right hand never seems to know what the left hand is doing! But in this case, anyone would have expected the State Dept. to look first at home for a glassmaker. How do we manage to put such thoughtless people in positions of importance, as in this case?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't you think that the US would want to support a US company in such tough economical times?

Kay

Anonymous said...

UNBELIEVABLE !!! Why cant we take care of our OWN country first! American businesses and its people are suffering VERY much in this economy, yet I do not see any FOREIGN AID coming here to help us!

Anonymous said...

UNBELIEVABLE !!! Why cant we take care of our OWN country first! American businesses and its people are suffering VERY much in this economy, yet I do not see any FOREIGN AID coming here to help us!

Geraldine said...

ITS CALLED GLOBALIZATION - you also want a free competitive economy well this is part of it. maybe orrefors won the contract because they produce a better product at a lesser price? The u.s. is based on a free competetive economy and these are the rules. Play by them - you can't just complain when it suits you -

Anonymous said...

I've also read a firm from China won the bid for the glass to be used in the new World Trade Center buildings. If true, I certainly hope the NY senator does something!

marilyn said...

AMEN TO AWARDING CONTRACTS TO USA COMPANIES - THE ONES THAT STILL EMPLOY AMERICAN WORKERS. WHY DOES NO ONE SEEM TO SEE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OUR TROUBLED ECONOMY AND ALL THE COMPANIES THAT CLOSE IN THE USA AND PRODUCE ITEMS IN OTHER COUNTRIES LEAVING AMERICAN WORKERS WITHOUT JOBS WHICH HAS LED TO OUR ECONOMIC CRISIS?

faz said...

Yet one more Obamazation of our country to get more people on welfare and become a "nanny state". This administration will "nickel and dime" us into socialism.
BUY AMERICAN!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree, keep the jobs here. Even though government has always done this to promote good relations with other countries. My biggest problem with the whole thing is this...like we all have to do these days, ask yourself, do I really NEED to spend money on new glasses or should the money be used for something more useful and NEEDED? Frivolous spending is a NO-No.

Anonymous said...

More reason to not re-elect anyone who's in office.

Anonymous said...

wow another great way to spend our tax dollars. i don't really care if they drink out of jelly jars. the bids should not have gone out of our country!!!!

Anonymous said...

I can't comment until my blood pressure drops a few hundred points. John Gunn

Anonymous said...

I have many friends that work for Steuben Glass and they put their hearts into what they make. And for our government not to buy from them with the state of jobs is shameful. These people that work there need their job and they give the finest they have as artists and laborers to get the products out. Shame on our government for even considering buying anything outside of our country. Just my thoughts on todays world.

Anonymous said...

Our current government is giving everything else away - why not a glassware contract. We in the antique community know what has been lost in this country. Politicians do not seem to care.

Anonymous said...

The contract with Orrefors was cancelled and only American companies can bid for the contract now thanks to Steuben and our NY senators and congressmen.

Anonymous said...

I see alot of comments from "buy American" advocates. Our economy will no doubt pick up with them all having no foreign-made goods in their households. However, it may be possible that our government is just practicing what these vocal people are actually doing; paying lip-service to buying American, and purchasing from overseas themselves.

It is also possible that the information is false. Government detractors seem to find a lot of mis-information from weird sources. And it seems to be worse now for some reason since the last presidential election.

Anonymous said...

Just another stupid decision, among thousands, which comes from the trickle down effect of the Obama regime.

nosey said...

These jobs should stay at home. However, what I find even more outrageous is the 5.4 million dollar contract for goblets at 400 embassies. Do these embassies already have goblets? What happens to them once the new ones arrive. How many goblets does an embassy need?

Rosemary said...

Please forward all of our comments to the NY Senator that is trying to get the contract rebid. A U.S. Embassy without our own products is a slap to all American workers!

Rosemary Arellano

Anonymous said...

OMG!!! Thank you Kovels for bringing this to our attention. Like another poster said, makes you wonder how many other products used in our government facilities are purchased from foreign companies. Why oh WHY are they spending $5.4 Mill on "glasses" in the first place!?! If they really find it necessary to throw our money away while so many are suffering, (I was laid off last October after 20 years on the job), then the least they could do is KEEP IT HERE IN THE U.S.!!! Still not the most prudent use of the money, but at least it would be some hard working american people who would benefit. I hope & pray they do the right thing. Kovels, please keep us updated.
Jeanne L

Anonymous said...

What happened to the Buy American Act....the government should/may be required to buy products from American producers....and definitely not get a waiver for this type of thing..

Annie said...

I agree with all the other commentors who decry the change from Stuben to a company outside of the United States. What can we, as citizens, do to change this poorly made decision?
I do not think tax dollars should be wasted buying overpriced items for use in any department of the government. But surely there is a way to keep the glasses supplied by a company inside the United States owned by a company inside the United States.

Annie

Cathy said...

Call your Congressmen and US Senators! When things like this happen and we all sit back and talk about it--things like this will keep happening!
And if you don't like how things are going, look into the bottom of it and "change" things up at the voting poll

Janice said...

not only the jobs being lost , people please think.....5.4 billion dollars....for glasses.....please, leave off the seal, and buy some cheap glasses, and use that money, where it is needed,
Janice White
Missouri

Anonymous said...

If the US government is buying glasses, then doesn't that mean it's with tax payer money? We should only buy products made in the US with tax payer money. Shame on our Embassies!

krayolakat said...

Shameful for not using a American Company to produce a product for American Embassies! Unbelievable! I too would like to know, who granted the contract to the Swedish Glass company. Shame on him or her!!! So few American Glass and pottery companies left in the US that still produce in the US. Just recently the merger of Hall China with Homer Lauglin. To save American jobs and a American company. Should not our own Government be so proactive too?

Anonymous said...

Rather than paying unemployment to glass workers, the right thing to do is to give the contract to the United States company. And, our Embassies should be proud to use American made glasses.

carrie said...

We are in agreement that the government should be using our own superior resources -- now tell me what can we do about it???
carrisima

Anonymous said...

Could this be a quid pro quo for the Clinton Foundation?
If a person with a brain is in DC there should be unanimous support for a bill requiring any gift presented to another country/official/etc. MUST be made in America by a corporation/business headquartered in the USA.
This is another example of the impotency of elected officials, Cabinet officials and anyone else involved.
--Brainintact

Marilyn LM said...

OMGoodness! 1) don't vote for incumbants because this is only a small indication of their lack of respect for those of us who are truly working and paying taxes 2) 5+ million on glasses, please..a glass is a glass..this is not suppose to be a nation of Kings and Queens who can have what they want and do what they want with "their people". 3) I want jobs for legal Americans and I want American products, give us something to be proud of instead of giving expensive glasses to our Embassies and in return we get cheap and toxic products from the other countries. 4) Mostly..Americans take back our country from our "elected" officials and work on electing people who are more like those of us who are offended at 5.4 million dollars in glasses and some of the other truly goofy standards our "elected" officials feel are more important than working Americans and a BUDGET that does not include Kings and Queens and their fantasies. Step up Americans and do something.

Roberta H. said...

Hats off the to senator from New York. Now if only the rest of the senators get his point. To think that our government would even think about buying from anywhere outside the US right now is beyond understanding and totally outrageous. Not only our embassies but even the smallest government agency at any level should buy US first.

Terry said...

Enough already of taking away jobs from USA. In my opinion one of the big reasons for the current economic turndown. There is also a certain issue of integrity, our embassies should indeed reflect us, and what we produce. Steuben is most assuredly something to be proud of. And USA products should be considered first anyway. Terry

Anonymous said...

Let us not leave the Senator from NY by himself in trying to get this matter reversed so that a US company can bid. Call the two senators - - or write them - - from your own state and urge them to join with the NY senator.

Elizabeth Poel

Anonymous said...

They could have used Anchor Hocking or Libbey too. Why does everything have to be so darn prissy and expensive anyway? The United States should be represented as being tough and practical, not as prissy, superficial, squanderering snobs.

Anonymous said...

As a Veteran,retired government worker, and president of our local Historical village, I am very much in support of having the glass ware made in the USA.
How many times have you seen MADE IN THE USA on clothing, shoes, home appliances? The US is loosing its place in the products that are sold here, and made somewhere across the 'ponds'.
We need to ALL pay attentionw when buying. What ever happened to the commerical saying..."So always look for the UNION LABEL, because it says we're proud to have made it in the USA!" ?
Let's start our own TEA PARTY... even the US Flag is made overseas and people BUY THEM not knowing this. I think a bill should be set in congress to say the US FLAG should ONLY be made in the USA. What do you say!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Where the glasses are made is not the point. The point is the goverment has absolutely no business spending $5.4 million for glasses for 400 embassies. Spending by the goverment is out of control and the country is heading for bankruptcy at a lightning speed! If the embassies need new glasses, purchase them at WalMart!

Beth Cherkowsky said...

Contact your State Senator and your State Representatives. We can get this decision changed if we all bit** oh I meant complain loudly enough... What a crock - and it's not just steuben.. Fenton's going under... other AMERICAN glass companies have dyed off - HERE is a link to all the senators... BUT remember this - when you hoist your beer in an ARCOROC glass or some other "imported" company. http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Beth Cherkowsky

Anonymous said...

Please tell us who to contact about this.

Anonymous said...

My Gracious-I am delighted to read so many true informative comments! Thank you Kovel for the information to begin the process. I hope the President and those running the show read what the people of the United States are saying! I am proud to be an American and lets stay in the US!

Christal said...

The government is suppose to be helping with jobs not sending to out of the country. This is for the US and should be made in the US.. What in Gods green earth is going on in this country.. Please keep us posted on the complete outcome..I have forward this to everyone I know and ask them to do the same. This is something you will not hear/read with the media. Thank you for letting us all know.

Anonymous said...

I agree absolutely.... greed & it's consequences have contributed to the downfall of many. How can we expect to prosper when we tear down our future from within? I personally try to purchase only American-made products, which can be difficult in today's economy, since it is hard to always tell which product has been out-sourced to spend less on it's production. It is a sad state of affairs, when money rules. I realize my small efforts are but a drop in a very large bucket, but if each American put their small drop in the bucket, the bucket would quickly run over!

Anonymous said...

Everything from the glassware to the art on the walls at ALL the American embassies should be made by American companies or artisans. This is a perfect example of the stupidity of many of our government employees. We need a large dose of common sense in our government workers AND our elected officials. I know I've had enough of the poor judgement exhibited by this administration. I would bet that someone got a kickback of some sort with this contract!!!

Geraldine said...

What happened to my comment? was it removed because my opinion did not agreee with the article? Do you only publish opinions that conform to yours? Please print my comment. actuallyintially it was on, it was the very first one, but then it was removed. IS THAT WHAT WE CALL FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THE U.S.????

James said...

Of course, if another country were to deny the use of American products during a bidding process, you can guarantee equal outrage at the "unfairness" of the process. Your country is a great believer in free international trade, as long as it benefits the US. When it doesn't, trade treaties and international rulings get tossed out the window.

Anonymous said...

Question: ""What ever happened to the commercial saying..."So always look for the UNION LABEL, because it says we're proud to have made it in the USA!" ?""

Answer: The greed and misuse of funds by the unions themselves is what has killed most of that pride and it's also why a lot of jobs are no longer here and why unions are fading away.

We have become -America, home of the blame- rather than responsible citizens who are big enough to own up to our own mistakes and help make things right again. All we do is whine about how someone else needs to do something when it's all of our problem, caused by all of us.

Anonymous said...

I have been unemployed or underemployed for two and a half years. If this government doesn't bring manufacturing and all other jobs back to the USA we are doomed. This is no fluke. This plan has been in action for years, to pay cheap labor and let the American Citizen fend for himself. We are in big trouble and will be for a long time, until the Heads of the Rosthchild, Rockefeller, and super rich Arab families are dead or made dead. Lee

Anonymous said...

wow! When will the government wake up? they complain they need more tax money. Give us americans the jobs so we can pay the taxes. We are one of the most giving and caring counties in the world, Now we need our own county to care about us.