Alliance of Americans for America

Another Supporter of Bringing and Keeping Jobs in the USA—The Alliance for American Manufacturing

Buy New Balance Sneakers and Stop Buying Nike!

Here’s another friend, and supporter of our cause to bring jobs home and keep the jobs we still have in the USA: The Alliance for American Manufacturing. Visit them at Americanmanufacturing.org

And here’s an interesting story-release from their website, from which I learned that I need to buy New Balance sneakers instead of Nike’s

Manufacturing industry asks if Nike is a good example for promoting trade bill?
By Clare Goldsberry
Published: May 8th, 2015

President Obama is at the headquarters of Nike in Portland, OR, today to promote the benefits of his trade policy and show the American people why the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is good for American manufacturing. However, this trip just might backfire. It has the potential to show the American people why free-trade agreements often result in fewer benefits for U.S. manufacturing and far more benefits for the so-called "partners."

There are a number of reasons why this trip might not paint a good picture of the president's trade policy. First, as the National Journal pointed out in a May 6 commentary ("Why Is Obama Visiting Nike to Promote His Trade Bill?"), last year Nike made $12.4 billion in profits, "thanks in large part to one million subcontracted workers at factories primarily in low-wage countries in Asia."

Controversy has swirled around many large U.S. corporations that outsource manufacturing to Asian countries to take advantage of a low-wage workforce, with media accusing them of them of having factories with "sweatshop conditions and illegally low wages to produce sneakers and clothes that Nike then sells in much wealthier countries," said the National Journal.

A 2014 filing with the SEC shows that the only things Nike makes in the USA are Air-Sole cushion components and small amounts of plastic products it sells to other manufacturers," the National Journal pointed out.

It's obvious that over the years the United States has seen its manufacturing base decline—along with its middle class—as more outsourcing and offshoring to Asia results in a widening trade deficit. America seems to have paid a steep price for its free-trade agreements with the world. Yet, despite evidence to the contrary, this administration keeps pushing the idea that the TPP will "open up markets for American goods, American exports, and create American jobs," Obama stated in a recent press conference.

Sure. We know better by now. A trip to a huge corporation that makes most of its goods in foreign countries won't be enough to convince those of us in the manufacturing sector that this will be anything but more of the same: Lost jobs and steeper trade deficits.

A blog at the Alliance for American Manufacturing website by Luke Lorenz took the same stance as the National Journal: "Perhaps no company better represents the pitfalls of inadequate trade deals than Nike," writes Lorenz. "In the 1990s, the apparel manufacturer was the subject of scandals involving sweatshops, child labor and unsafe working conditions. Subsequently, Nike has embarked on a campaign to fix its image, not its labor standards."

Lorenz noted in his blog that, while the president plans to "use the visit to discuss the ways that free trade benefits American workers," the choice of Nike as a place to open up this discussion "seems odd, considering [that] most of Nike's 48,000 direct employees are employed outside the United States."

The latest blog on the Alliance for American Manufacturing's website calls for consumers to purchase their athletic shoes from New Balance, a company that makes its products in the USA. Supporting American companies that actually hire American workers is the best way to boost American manufacturing.

Trade bills are often long on promises to American workers and companies, and short on delivery. Yes, we've been down this road before. We know that free trade isn't!

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