REPORT: Obama Bribed New Balance To Get TPP Support
Apr 14, 2016 at 1:06 AM
DailyBail in Free Trade, TPP, bribery, corruption, defense contractor, free trade, military shoes, militray sneakers, new blalance, obama, obama administration, pacific rim, pentagon, tpp, trade

New Balance Accuses Pentagon Of Reneging On TPP Deal


New Balance is renewing its opposition to the far-reaching Pacific Rim trade deal, saying the Obama administration reneged on a promise to give the sneaker maker a fair shot at military business if it stopped bad-mouthing the agreement.

After several years of resistance to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pact aimed at making it easier to conduct trade among the United States and 11 other countries, the Boston company had gone quiet last year. 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

“We swallowed the poison pill that is TPP so we could have a chance to bid on these contracts,” said Matt LeBretton, New Balance’s vice president of public affairs. “We were assured this would be a top-down approach at the Department of Defense if we agreed to either support or remain neutral on TPP. [But] the chances of the Department of Defense buying shoes that are made in the USA are slim to none while Obama is president.”

The company employs about 1,400 people at its five New England factories — one in Brighton, one in Lawrence, and three in Maine. Company officials say they are looking to add workers to those plants, and they see a major military contract, with potentially as many as 200,000 shoe orders a year, as a way to help reach that goal.

Nearly every piece of gear that military recruits wear is made in the United States, per a 1940s-era law known as the Berry Amendment. But for many years, athletic shoes were exempt, largely because of a lack of sufficient domestic options. Hoping to change that, New Balance and other companies worked toward making an all-American shoe. New Balance even purchased an expensive machine to make midsoles, a key component that was nearly always made overseas.

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New Balance says Obama admin tried to bribe it with a govt contract to get support for TPP

— David Sirota (@davidsirota) April 13, 2016



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