New Balance is the last major sneaker manufacturer that still makes its shoes on its home turf in the USA.
But new trade agreements may force New Balance to move its manufacturing operations overseas — or worse, put it out of business, reports Mark J. Miller at BrandChannel.
So, the company is trying to get help from Washington, and it's buttering up lawmakers to try to make that happen.
One of its big supporters is Rep. Michael Michaud of Maine, who recently toured the New Balance factory and got a pair of custom-stitched kicks for President Barack Obama., according to Erin Rhoda at the Morning Sentinel.
Michaud's the one who introduced the American Shoes for American Servicemembers Act, which would require the Department of Defense to procure footwear from US sources.
That's good PR. T he brand relies on its American-made value proposition to survive. Nike and the other sneaker behemoths would love to put the squeeze on New Balance with their low-cost foreign factories and shove them right out of the industry. Plus, it needs Washington on its side if it wants to keep operating as it is today.
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