Nike looking to make shoes in US — regardless of TPP

Sports apparel giant wants to manufacture shoes without relying on human capital.

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Nike pledged US manufacturing jobs when President Barack Obama was in town a couple weeks ago. The pledge seemingly hinged on the approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

But a story published on indicates the sports apparel giant wants to manufacture shoes without relying on human capital.

The statement also said Nike’s U.S. initiative would create up to 10,000 manufacturing and engineering jobs in addition to thousands of construction jobs and up to 40,000 indirect supply chain and service jobs in the United States over the next decade. But what does that mean, exactly? A single, large factory? If so, where? Or an assemblage of smaller contract-partner sites like it already has in Oregon and 18 other states? And is any of it truly contingent on this trade deal? In response to questions from The Oregonian /OregonLive, Nike reiterated that “meaningful duty relief” would enable the company to move more swiftly on its U.S. manufacturing plan.

“Nike is a global company with many competing priorities for our investments,” spokesman Greg Rossiter said in a statement.

Nike is hoping to integrate an automated shoe production process. The jobs created will be for those who can create the machines that allow making shoes to be much less labor intensive.

On Saturday, Senator Jeff Merkley told an audience in Hermiston that he was dismayed by the TPP.

From the East Oregonian:

“I have deep, deep reservations,” he said.

Merkley said he had a problem with the secrecy surrounding the trade agreement and was opposed to the idea that Congress should fast-track the agreement on a simple up-or-down vote with no amendments. He said he has pushed the Obama administration to make sure controls on currency manipulation were added to the agreement in order to prevent other countries from using the strategy to get around the reduction of tariffs. But on that and similar requests, he said lawmakers are being told that adding such amendments would cause other countries to not sign the agreement.

 Merkley bemoaned the country losing 5 million jobs after NAFTA was passed.

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