While half of the United States is still coming to terms with a Donald Trump presidency, it’s clear New Balance is very excited about it.
SoleCollector notes that New Balance is the first major sportswear company to back the president-elect since winning the race for president on early Wednesday morning.
Many companies are making public statements about president-elect Trump and what his presidency will mean for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. While Nike issued what amounts to a non-statement about the future of the trade deal, New Balance minced no words about what they feel is a failure of the current Obama administration to protect American business interests.
The Boston-based company’s disdain for TPP is nothing new. In April, NPR’s All Things Considered did a story about the company’s criticism of the trade deal.
New Balance has made it a company priority to make some of its shoes in the U.S., and New Balance gets a benefit from it – their competitors pay the tariff, the tax. New Balance, on its American-made shoes, does not. At least, until the TPP came along. Part of the trade deal is that tariffs on shoes from Vietnam will be phased out, and that is a huge boost to companies that import their shoes. Think Nike or Adidas. And frankly, it’s good for some shoe buyers.
Featured in the story is Matt LeBretton, the vice president of public affairs that was quoted in Germano’s tweet on Wednesday. LeBretton said in April that the trade ambassadors trying to pass TPP offered New Balance a military contract to quell the company’s rumblings of concern about the trade agreement, which is still stalled in congress.
Here’s how the story played out on All Things Considered:
LEBRETTON: The hook to that was that we weren’t – we were told that we weren’t to speak about this publicly in any way, shape or form. And we weren’t to criticize the TPP or the administration in any way, shape or form. We took the deal.
SMITH: And so when the TPP was being negotiated, New Balance kept its objections to itself and hoped to get a meeting with the military about those shoes. The meeting never came.
LEBRETTON: We couldn’t even get in the front door. I mean, they wouldn’t even let us in the parking lot.
Whether New Balance had reason to be upset about its lack of military contract or not, they will get their way. Most experts say TPP — which was seven years in the making and consisted of 11 other nations around the world — is dead and buried now that Trump will take office on Jan. 20 of next year.
The death of TPP means that your next pair of New Balances may be entirely made in America. Though, depending on how you voted your current pair of NBs could be your last.