Sen. Brown Tours East Liverpool Pottery Factory, Discusses Efforts to Bring Back Jobs Lost to China

Brown Renews Call to “Buy America,” Crack Down on China for Illegal Trade Practices that Hurt Domestic Manufacturing

EAST LIVERPOOL, OH — Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) toured the American Mug and Stein factory to meet with workers and to discuss with company Owner and CEO, Clyde McClellan, efforts to expand and re-shore pottery jobs outsourced to China. Of the company’s many clients, its most famous is the Starbucks Corporation.

“East Liverpool was once the undisputed pottery capital of the world. American Mug and Stein is a symbol of both that tradition and of the region’s potential for growth,” Brown said. “We have the hardest workers in the world. If we renew our commitment to American manufacturing, slowly but surely we can bring back to Ohio some of those jobs lost to China.” 

American Mug and Stein, formerly Pioneer Pottery, was sold in 2009 to McClellan. In the four years since, the company has steadily expanded its number of employees and has grown its business more than seven-fold. In an effort to help the company become more energy and cost efficient, Brown brought to the tour Tony Logan, Ohio Rural Development Director of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); as well as Joy Padgett, Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia (GOA). Also joining them were local community leaders.

Brown has long fought to protect American workers and businesses from Chinese illegal trade practices. Brown introduced the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2013, bipartisan legislation that would reform and enhance oversight of currency exchange rates. Specifically, the bill would use U.S. trade law to counter the economic harm to U.S. manufacturers caused by currency manipulation, and provide consequences for countries that fail to adopt appropriate policies to eliminate currency misalignment

Described as “Congress’ leading proponent of American Manufacturing,” Brown—a member of the U.S. Senate Manufacturing Caucus—has introduced a package of key legislative proposals aimed at bolstering the competiveness of U.S. manufacturers and boosting domestic manufacturing. Last Congress, legislation sponsored by Brown and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), the National Manufacturing Strategy Act, passed the House. This bipartisan legislation would require the Commerce Secretary to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the nation’s manufacturing sector and submit to Congress a National Manufacturing Strategy (NMS). The goals of the NMS are to increase manufacturing jobs, identify emerging technologies to strengthen U.S. competitiveness, and strengthen the manufacturing sectors in which the U.S. is most competitive.