Griffo questions DMV for giving out promotional sunglasses made in China

State Senator Joseph Griffo on Thursday questioned why the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is giving out promotional sunglasses that are made in China.

In his letter to DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Theresa L. Egan, Griffo, R-Rome, questioned why the state agency would purchase and give out foreign-made products instead of purchasing items that are made in America.

“At a time when the Governor is urging state agencies and contracts to ‘Buy American,’ it seems counterintuitive for state agencies to be doling out products ‘Made in China’ to promote those very same agencies,” Griffo wrote in the letter. “I would expect our state agencies to be more mindful of the manufactured products they give out.”

Griffo said that all across our state and nation, there is a movement to “Buy American,” with Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushing for state contracts to use iron, steel and other resources that are made in America. Yet, this past weekend, the DMV was giving out sunglasses at a promotional table in Watkins Glen. The sunglasses promote the DMV’s website, while clearly being labeled as “Made in China.”

Griffo further asked why these items were being given out on behalf of a state agency, and asked where the money came from to pay for these foreign-made products.

The following is the text of Griffo’s letter sent Thursday to state Department of Motor Vehicles Executive Deputy Commissioner Theresa L. Egan:

August 10, 2017

Theresa L. Egan
Executive Deputy Commissioner
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228

Dear Commissioner Egan:

As you are aware, the Governor and the State Legislature have made it a point to support our American workers by buying American-made products. All across our state, and our nation, there is a movement to “Buy American,” with our Governor pushing for state contracts to use iron, steel and other resources that are made in America.

So why then would the state Department of Motor Vehicles be giving out promotional sunglasses that are made in China? In writing you this letter, I would like to ask you to explain why a state agency chose to give out a foreign-made product, instead of purchasing items that are manufactured by an American-based company.

It has been brought to my attention that these promotional sunglasses were distributed at a DMV table in Watkins Glen this past weekend. The sunglasses promote the DMV’s website, while clearly being labeled as “Made in China.” That begs the question: Why were these items being given out on behalf of a state agency, and where did the money come from to pay for these foreign-made products?

At a time when the Governor is urging state agencies and contracts to “Buy American,” it seems counterintuitive for state agencies to be doling out products that are “Made in China” to promote those very same agencies. I would expect our state agencies to be more mindful of the manufactured products they give out.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing your response.

Sincerely, Joseph Griffo, State Senator, 47th District

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