Letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - U.S. Embassy Contracts

Letter

By:  Eric Massa Pat Tiberi
Date: March 3, 2010
Location: Washington, DC

In a bipartisan effort to save American jobs, today Representatives Eric Massa (D-NY) and Pat Tiberi (R-OH) urged the State Department to support American workers in awarding U.S. Embassies' contracts. Recently the U.S. State Department announced that they had awarded U.S. embassies' stemware contracts to Orrefors, a Swedish company, without even giving SteubenGlass a chance to bid on the contract. SteubenGlass has been supplying the stemware to U.S. embassies since 1947.

In a strongly worded letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Reps. Massa and Tiberi implored the State Department to investigate the process that awards contracts and urged the hiring of American workers.

"At a time when our country is in recession, I think we should be focusing on saving American jobs rather than offering no-bid contracts to foreign companies," stated Rep. Massa. "Since 1947 SteubenGlass has provided the stemware for U.S. Embassies so it makes no sense to pull the economic rug out from under this reputable American company. I'm glad that Rep. Pat Tiberi is joining me in our effort to persuade Secretary Hillary Clinton to reevaluate this contract."

"This boils down to fighting for American jobs," said Tiberi. "The United States government should not be turning its back on American workers and sending jobs overseas, plain and simple. I am pleased to be working with Congressman Massa to stand up for American workers."

Full text of the letter follows:

The Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
2201 C Street. NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Madam Secretary,

We recently learned of the selection of a new vendor, Orrefors, for the design and production of stemware for U.S. Department of State Embassies worldwide. Orrefors USA President, Jack Repetto, is quoted in various news sources as saying that the opportunity allows Orrefors to "demonstrate the high quality of craftsmanship from our factories in Sweden."

It is our understanding that before the selection of Orrefors to fulfill the Department of State Embassies stemware contract, SteubenGlass, an American company, has been meeting the Stemware needs of the U.S. State Department Embassies since President Harry Truman's Administration (1947). It is also our understanding that SteubenGlass was not offered the opportunity to present a bid.

It is difficult for us to understand why the Department of State would select a Swedish company over an American company that has a seven-decade tradition of manufacturing the embassies' stemware. We believe the U.S. State Department should be supporting jobs for American workers and should be supporting American products, especially in these difficult economic times.

Good-paying American jobs are on the line, so we ask for a prompt response and that the proper authority reviews the process by which a foreign company was awarded a no-bid contract over an American company employing American Workers.

Sincerely,

Pat Tiberi
Member of Congress
Ohio's 12th Congressional District

Eric Massa
Member of Congress
New York's 29th Congressional District