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Kerry Honors Three Companies For Overseas Operations

FILE - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks about Syria at the State Department in Washington, Jan. 16, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has honored three U.S. companies for their favorable treatment of workers and advanced use of renewable resources at their operations in Cameroon, Honduras and Mexico.

Kerry gave "Awards for Corporate Excellence" Wednesday in Washington to Taylor Guitars for its work in Cameroon, the Fruit of the Loom textile company in Honduras and the electronic products company Plantronics in Mexico.

The top U.S. diplomat said the actions of the three companies represented the best of American values.

"Every single one of the winners today have set a high standard and they've all done really remarkable work in communities around the world as a result of the choices that they have made in the corporate boardroom."

He cited Taylor Guitars for buying an ebony mill in Cameroon and using all shades of ebony in manufacturing its guitars, not just black ebony once used exclusively, so that the country's forests are not depleted.

Kerry honored Fruit of the Loom for its ground-breaking labor agreement with workers that boosted wages, and provided free transportation for workers to their jobs and free lunches. The company partly powers its operations with biomass electricity generation using seaweed.

He said 70 percent of the power needs at Plantronics' operation in Tijuana, Mexico is provided by rooftop solar panels.