New Balance CEO Rob DiMartino says the Boston-based athletic footwear company is putting an end to its neutral position on the global free trade pact known as the TPP, the transpacific partnership.
He said, "We reached a point of frustration where we said, we got to speak up because were not getting the treatment our American workers need and deserve. The issue has been clear for us since the beginning. It's about American jobs."
New Balance says the Obama administration reneged on the deal it made to give new balance a fair shot at a military contract if it would stop opposing the TPP and take a neutral position.
The latest news from around the state
But new balance says, as the agreement came together, the Obama administration begin one of the fastest phaseouts of tariffs on shoes made in Vietnam. DiMartino said, "it means that our competitors who source overseas will get a pricing advantage much quicker than they got in the previous deal."
New balance, which designed the only entirely US-made sneaker to meet military specs, so is a major military contract would have allowed the company to grow and add jobs and new balances it would've put the US in compliance with the 1940s lot known as the berry amendment, requiring all military gear to be made in the United States.
DeMartino said, "These jobs are here and we feel like we're being penalized for staying the longest and working the hardest to keep these jobs in America."
New Balance may not have the Obama administration on its side, but it believes the next administration will be. New Balance Vice President of public affairs Matthew LeBretton said, "It's Donald Trump, it's Hillary Clinton, it's Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders – all are saying we need to look at this agreement and we think that's right."