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New Balance may be one of the only brands that manufactures sneakers in the United States, but it's not seeing eye-to-eye with the U.S. government right now to say the least.
As reported by Boston Globe, New Balance says the Pentagon broke a verbal agreement that would allow the brand to make footwear for the U.S. military. As a result, the Boston-based footwear company says it's going to continue to oppose the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
New Balance finally began to ease up on its criticism of the trade pact last year, but that was only because the Department of Defense said it would give strong consideration to letting New Balance lace the military in its sneakers. This is something that New Balance has been trying to make happen for years now, so that was all it needed to hear to back down. However, things aren't going quite as planned.
"We swallowed the poison pill that is TPP so we could have a chance to bid on these contracts," a New Balance rep said. "We were assured this would be a top-down approach at the Department of Defense if we agreed to either support or remain neutral on TPP. [But] the chances of the Department of Defense buying shoes that are made in the USA are slim to none while Obama is president."
Around this time last year, during President Barack Obama's visit to Nike's world headquarters, New Balance voiced complaints about the president's appearance and the push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. New Balance argued that the trade agreement would jeopardize the jobs of its U.S. employees due to the elimination of Vietnamese import tariffs.