Famous for nearly a century of prize wining art crystal and fine stemware, Orrefors glass foundry in Småland has been selected from among all competitors - including American firms - to supply $5.4 million worth of specially made, official stemware used by the United States embassies at their most important diplomatic events.

The contract, negotiated through Systems Design, Inc., a Georgetown interior design firm, came from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's own department last September but was only recently brought to light due to protests from US manufacturers. The crucial reason that the Swedish products were selected entailed that no company in the USA could provide 100% lead free glass, and this was a requirement that could not be ignored in favor of domestic firms.

Although carried out throughh the Orrefors/Kosta Boda USA subsidiary corporation, the actual making of the fine crystal will happen in Sweden. A flurry of criticism from "buy American" isolationists erupted when the contact become public last week who pointed out, besides what was in fact an inconsequential amount of labor going outside the United States, came from a no-bid purchase that may have been subject to a waiver in order to go to foreign manufacturers.
For more info, see www.orrefors.com