Sherrill Manufacturing, the only flatware manufacturer in the U.S., participated in a White House meeting on July 19 as part of the Trump administration’s “Made in America” week. The event, which hosted 20 small and medium-sized businesses in a roundtable discussion, focused on U.S. manufactured products.
“It’s an exciting time to be an American business,” said Greg Owens, CEO of Sherrill Manufacturing. “The made in America movement is gaining momentum nationally with policy makers, and we are privileged to have been invited to the White House to take this American issue one step further.”
Congresswoman Claudia Tenney who attended the meeting, asked the President to put his support behind a House bill she introduced titled SPOONSS (Support Procurement of our Nation’s Stainless Steel) Act. This bipartisan bill would restore the Berry Amendment’s longstanding domestic sourcing requirement for stainless steel flatware.
On Tenney’s website, it is explained that The Berry Amendment restricts the Department of Defense (DoD) from buying certain goods produced outside of the U.S. The Berry Amendment requires the DoD to look domestic first for a range of goods and allows for waivers when domestic sourcing proves more costly.
From 1976 to 2006, the Berry Amendment included a domestic sourcing requirement for stainless steel flatware. During this time, Oneida Ltd. was the primary domestic supplier for all of DoD. However, when Oneida Ltd. shifted its flatware manufacturing overseas in 2007, this provision was eliminated in the absence of a domestic flatware producer. As a result, DoD determined that stainless steel flatware was “a commercial commodity little produced in the U.S. after Oneida Ltd. ceased its domestic manufacturing operations.” However, Sherrill feels this provision should be reinstated.
Sherrill Manufacturing is a family-owned and operated business that has been producing flatware for more than a decade. The owners purchased the Oneida factory and have since launched its Liberty Tabletop brand. Liberty Tabletop produces flatware and sells directly to consumers across the country.
According to Sherrill, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer has also shown support for Sherrill Manufacturing and encouraged President Trump in January to buy the company’s flatware to send a positive message to U.S. manufacturers.
“We are grateful for the overwhelming support from Representative Tenney and Senator Schumer, and if this bill passes it will result in creating more jobs at Sherrill Manufacturing,” Owens added.