Nike vs. Adidas may be the most recognizable sneaker rivalry, but it seems that Nike vs. New Balance may be heating up due to some interesting political legislation that is set to invade Congress soon. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is aimed to "boost U.S. economic growth, support American jobs, and grow Made-in-America exports to some of the most dynamic and fastest growing countries in the world." It wants to do what every president promises: create more jobs along with cheapening tariffs on items from countries we import from. Well, President Obama visited Nike's Portland campus last week to talk about the legislation and New Balance has some beef with it since, as you very well likely know, essentially all of Nike's shoes are manufactured overseas, while New Balance still prides itself on its domestic manufacturing. So, while everyone was foaming at the mouth over the custom Air Jordans Obama was supposedly copping, some real actual news was happening right in front of our eyes.
Politico looks at the politically charged sneaker feud and what's at stake for both Nike and New Balance. Obviously, Nike wants to eliminate tariffs on shoes made in countries that it has stake in, particularly in Asia, while New Balance's employees in the U.S. could be pushed out of their jobs if cheaper materials come in from Asian countries like Vietnam. Of course, Nike is already a much larger company than New Balance and offers the possibility of around 10,000 jobs if things go its way.
Guys, this is like a real life episode of House of Cards! Maybe you'll even vote for a change! Either way, get excited. Sneaker politics are in full swing.