Obama touts trade pact in Nike speech


Nike pledges American manufacturing jobs if “fast-track” trade proposal passes.

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BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Nike pledged American manufacturing jobs Wednesday should the “fast-track” trade proposal pass.

From the Portland Business Journal:

Nike said the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trade Promotion Authority, if passed, would provide tariff relief that would allow it to accelerate the development of a domestic supply chain and start advanced manufacturing in the United States. It expects the effort could create up to 10,000 advanced manufacturing jobs as well as thousands of construction jobs and 40,000 supply chain jobs over the next decade.

“We believe agreements that encourage free and fair trade allow Nike to do what we do best: innovate, expand our businesses and drive economic growth,” said CEO Mark Parker, in a news release. “Nike has always led the way in product innovation, and now we will be able to accelerate our investments to continue to drive manufacturing innovation.”

The announcement came as Air Force 1 was en route to PDX.

Obama held a fundraiser at the Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland Thursday night.

He was greeted by protestors and a large crowd of admirers. 

From OregonLive.com:

But as Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, who also attended the fundraiser, related, Obama acknowledged that there are still plenty of people who haven’t benefited from the new economy he’s tried to set up. Some of those people may have been outside the Sentinel, protesting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and the fast track plan to renew it.

“Show me what democracy looks like,” protest organizers shouted. “This is what democracy looks like,” protesters responded in singsong.

From a separate OregonLive.com report:

The $500-and-up-per-ticket fundraiser at the Sentinel attracted about 300 attendees. But several said they got tickets for free, so it wasn’t clear how successful the event was. The president touched only lightly on trade during his speech and did not address charges from many critics that Nike is an example of a company that has outsourced too many jobs overseas.

“One of the things that we need to do to put people back to work is to make sure we are accessing the markets of the future,” Obama said. “So part of what I’m going to be doing at Nike tomorrow is talking about how important it is that 95 percent of the world’s markets are outside our borders.”

At his speech Friday at Nike, early reports indicated that he used the opportunity to sell the Trans-Pacific Partnership to people on the left who would otherwise be his allies.

Oregon Business will publish a story from the president’s speech later today.




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