New Balance Didn’t Appreciate President Obama Visiting Nike This Week
“Made in the USA.” It’s something that, unfortunately, isn’t stamped on very many items that Americans buy anymore. Go and take a look at the tag on the shirt that you’re wearing. Or turn the cup that you’re drinking out of right now over (once you’re done drinking, of course!) and check out the bottom of it. Or hell, go find anything that’s in your general vicinity and see where it was made. There’s a pretty good chance that it won’t say “USA” or “America” on it. So many of today’s products are manufactured outside of the country.
New Balance sneakers are the exception to this rule. While most sneaker companies manufacture their shoes in China and other overseas locations, New Balance still makes most of their sneakers right here in the good old US of A. It’s why some of their sneakers are a little bit pricier than you might expect. But it’s also why New Balance sneakers are known for being incredibly well-built. New Balance doesn’t cut corners like some other sneaker companies do, and they take a lot of pride in the fact that they make their sneakers right here at home.
With this in mind, New Balance wasn’t happy when President Obama visited Nike on Friday to speak about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is designed to end the use of sweatshops in Asia. New Balance Vice President Matt LeBretton spoke with POLITICO and said that he wished President Obama would have come to the New Balance headquarters to speak about it since they actually manufacture sneakers in America.
“It’s great that the President is getting out and talking about his agenda,” he said. “But it would be great to have him come to a footwear company that actually still makes shoes in the United States and be talking about this agreement. We’d welcome that opportunity.”
There were obviously a lot of politics at play. For example, some of the people who have argued against the Trans-Pacific Partnership have said that Nike is only co-signing it in order to try and eliminate tariffs that are placed on sneakers produced in places like Vietnam. But beyond that, LeBretton did raise some interesting points regarding the President’s decision to go to Nike instead of New Balance. And it seems like he should add the U.S.-based sneaker company on his list of places to visit before his Presidency is over.
What do you think about President Obama visiting Nike?