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USGNN Original StoryFreedom Tower Follow Up: Senator Schumer and Safety Group Calls for Change
April 1, 2009

There has been much industry response to the investigative report published yesterday (CLICK HERE for that story) from USGlass magazine regarding the glass for One World Trade Center being manufactured in China after U.S. companies provided much of the development work. The local New York Affiliate, ABC-7, highlighted the story last night based on the USGlass article (CLICK HERE to view video). In that report New York Senator Charles Schumer called for a rescinding of the glass contract.

Also in response to that article, the Skyscraper Safety Campaign (SSC) held a press conference this morning in New York City regarding this issue.

"It is a well-known fact that numerous Chinese products have inconsistent and questionable quality standards …," said Glenn Corbett of John Jay College in New York City, chief technical advisor to the Skyscraper Safety Campaign.

"In addition to grave safety concerns, the use of Chinese glass in the Freedom Tower is a slap in the face to every hardworking American worker who has lost his or her job in this time of economic crisis," he added. "President Obama has called for jobs to remain in this country so that U.S. citizens can remain gainfully employed."

Corbett also is concerned about the fact that the Freedom Tower is an extremely sensitive building in terms of security.

"The type and quality of glass is one of the most important considerations when designing a terrorism-resistant building," he said. "Glass shards have killed and maimed many people in previous terrorist blasts around the world. It is critical that the design and fabrication of the Freedom Tower glazing meet the highest possible quality standards. Does all of the glass for the Freedom Tower meet the standards of organizations such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the Department of Defense?"

He also asked why China was selected for such a critical job at the expense of time-tested, high-quality American manufacturing companies.

The SSC called for the following immediate actions in the press conference:

  • For the New York and New Jersey Congressional delegation to initiate a federal probe into the legality of the glass contract with China and to explore the relationship between the contract and the signing of the Freedom Tower lease with Beijing Vantone Co.
  • For the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to explain why no American glass company received this contract, and to answer the question why American union workers have been overlooked.
  • For the PANYNJ to immediately void the Chinese glass contract and use U.S. products instead.
  • For the PANYNJ to show the public exactly which standards were used to design the glass.

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