New Balance was told they would get fair shot at military business if they shut up about TPP.
The New Balance shoe company had protested loudly against the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal – then they went quiet. Now the truth is coming out.
The Boston Globe reported:
New Balance officials say one big reason is that they were told the Department of Defense would give them serious consideration for a contract to outfit recruits with athletic shoes.
But no order has been placed, and New Balance officials say the Pentagon is intentionally delaying any purchase.
New Balance is reviving its fight against the trade deal, which would, in part, gradually phase out tariffs on shoes made in Vietnam. A loss of those tariffs, the company says, would make imports cheaper and jeopardize its factory jobs in New England.
Rob DeMartini, CEO of New Balance, told WMTW News that if the Trans Pacific Partnership goes through, New Balance would benefit financially since 75 percent of its shoes are made overseas, but that’s not what’s important to DeMartini.
“It’s more important to us about protecting the jobs and know-how in this country than picking up percentage points on what we import,” he said.
The US Defense Department told the company that New Balance shoes “don’t measure up”. “That’s ridiculous,” DeMartini said. “We’ve been in the business for 110 years. We know American workers can make shoes for American soldiers.”
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