Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An Interesting Note From Kovels: American Glass Companies Losing Government Bids to Foreign Companies

The following is an article pulled from one of the writers or owners of Kovel's Newsletter... your thoughts welcome at the end!

US 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.

Yes, it looks like even the antiques and collectibles industry can be affected by politics.

As an American I wonder where our pride has gone. As an antique dealer I am saddened by the thought of a long running, exceptional glass company going out of business due to our lack of support, even by our government.

When we have nothing left to manufacture here will we notice?

It is fun to collect things from the past but what about our future?

Something to think about.


Marsha @ Tattered Chick said...

Sadly I am not surprised. Many U.S. companies are also being taxed so much that they are moving to other countries so that they can stay in business and consequently taking away jobs from us here in the U.S.

We the people notice and speak up but are "they" listening?

Ms.Daisy said...

Sorry, I didn't know about this - it is sickening and very sad.


Connie said...

I read about this a couple of weeks ago and can't believe our government would do this, honey. It saddens me to think of all our jobs being lost and to think a foreign company is making glass for our country is disgusting.

MJ said...

I believe that industrialized countries need to follow the German example: focus on high quality goods that are at the higher end of the price-spectrum (ie: Miele, Henkel knives, etc). The majority of the population focuses on getting the most goods from every dollar.

It is interesting to see the cultural differences between Europeans & N Americans as well. Whether it is the purchase of their appliances (as Europeans purchase with the expectation that appliances will last at least 20 years whereas N Americans expect maximum 10 years) or their foods, there is a distinct cultural difference. The quality/flavour of European foods easily excels N American foods. For example, my local bakery doesn't blink an eye at selling day-old (or older bread) for the same price as same-day bread. This wouldn't be tolerated in Europe.

What is needed is a significant cultural attitude change of N Americans supporting and rewarding quality over quantity, and quality and long-term investment over disposability of all goods.

Unknown said...

Ooh, that makes me mad! Same thing as when American flags are made in China. Grr! :( I'm glad to hear that Senator was on the ball and maybe an American company now has a chance.