American running shoe company, New Balance, has leveled a damning accusation at the Obama administration.
New Balance still manufactures shoes in the States unlike the competition that has long since departed for the world of cheap labour offshore.
The company claims it was bribed to keep quiet about the Trans Pacific Partnership and the devastation it could cause American industry. More specifically the company claims it kept mum for a year while it awaited the payoff - a big contract from the US military.
New Balance is struggling to be able to keep some of its manufacturing in the U.S. Currently New Balance makes shoes in five factories in the U.S. Their executives say if TPP passes, lower tariffs on shoes made in places like Vietnam will force them to close their U.S. factories.
… If the President gets his way and TPP passes, the tariff on non-U.S.-made (Vietnam) shoes will end and New Balance – like so many other companies struggling to manufacture inside the U.S. – will have no choice but to end its U.S. manufacturing operations. Meanwhile Nike, already manufacturing in Vietnam and Malaysia and currently selling shoes that cost $10 to make for over $100, will gain even more of an advantage, which obviously will not be passed on to consumers. If you are able to get a certain price for a product, why reduce it?
These reports, if authentic, would make Barack Obama the High Priest of Neoliberalism. Somehow that's hard to swallow and yet we know that the White House is pushing the TPP.