New Balance accuses Obama administration of reneging on TPP-related deal
© Greg Nash

The shoe company New Balance is accusing the Obama administration of reneging on a deal to consider them for a military contract in exchange for holding back on criticism of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), according to a Boston Globe report.

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“We swallowed the poison pill that is TPP so we could have a chance to bid on these contracts,” said Matt LeBretton, vice president of public affairs at New Balance.

“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.”

The company had been an outspoken critic of the trade agreement, and its officials told the Globe that they had let up on their opposition last year when they were told that the Department of Defense would consider them for a contract to provide the military with athletic shoes.

But the company is now renewing their opposition to the TPP, saying that they never received an order from the government.

Their chief complaint about the trade deal is that it would gradually end tariffs on shoes made in Vietnam, endangering the company’s domestic manufacturing jobs.