New Balance Praises Trump: ‘Things Are Going to Move in the Right Direction’
Count New Balance among those feeling optimistic about a Donald Trump presidency after the Republican’s upset Tuesday night.
The Boston-based sportswear company’s vice president of public affairs, Matt LeBretton, told the Wall Street Journal‘s Sara Germano on Wednesday that “things are going to move in the right direction” with Trump in the White House.
New Balance: “The Obama admin turned a deaf ear to us & frankly w/ Pres-Elect Trump we feel things are going to move in the right direction”
— Sara Germano (@germanotes) November 9, 2016
After the company received backlash upon the comments going viral, New Balance issued another statement clarifying their “bipartisan stance”:
As the only major company that still makes athletic shoes in the United States, New Balance has a unique perspective on trade in that we want to make more shoes in the United States, not less. New Balance publicly supported the trade positions of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump prior to election day that focused on American manufacturing job creation and we continue to support them today. We believe in community. We believe in humanity. From the people who make our shoes to the people who wear them, we believe in acting with the utmost integrity and we welcome all walks of life. Since 1906, we have carved our own path in being passionately committed to making things at our five factories in New England, even when nobody else did. New Balance and our thousands of employees around the world constantly strive to better our local communities. We always have and we always will.
New Balance has been outspoken in its opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, or TPP. LeBretton, in an April interview with NPR, said the company was told it would receive a contract to produce sneakers for the military, but only if it stopped badmouthing TPP—a deal that New Balance says the Obama administration reneged on.
“We swallowed the poison pill that is TPP so we could have a chance to bid on these contracts,” LeBretton told the Globe. “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.”
Trump has said that TPP will make the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, “look like a baby.”
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country—just a continuing rape of our country,” Trump said in June. “It’s a harsh word, but it’s true.”