Free Trade

New Balance Planned To Open a New Sneaker Factory in America. Trump's Tariffs Might Prevent That From Happening.

Trade is necessary, even for American companies making American products in American factories.

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In many ways, New Balance is exactly the type of company that should be winning under President Donald Trump's trade policies.

The Massachusetts-based sneaker company, unlike most of its competitors, makes a lot of shoes in the United States. There are five New Balance factories in America, all in Maine or Massachusetts, and last year they churned out more than 4 million pairs of shoes while employing more than 7,000 American workers, according to the company's website. The president says his tariffs on Chinese goods are intended to force more companies to do manufacturing in the United States, and New Balance seems to be well ahead of that curve.

Indeed, New Balance isn't just a beneficiary of Trump's attempt to reorder global trade, but an active supporter of his efforts. Jim Davis, who owns the company, gave $400,000 to a pro-Trump political action committee in 2016. Like Trump, New Balance executives disdained the Obama-era Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. "The Obama administration turned a deaf ear to us and frankly, with President-elect Trump, we feel things are going to move in the right direction," Matt Lebretton, New Balance's vice president for public affairs said in 2016.

(As you may recall, some triggered customers responded to those comments by trying to set fire to their New Balance shoes. Others tried, unsuccessfully, to flush them down the toilet. Meanwhile, neo-Nazis declared New Balance to be "the official shoes of white people." The entire episode says something quite disturbing about how politics have infected every aspect of American life.)

Three years later, it turns out that Trump's "America First" trade policies are likely to prevent New Balance from expanding its highly touted "Made In The USA" operations. The company planned to open a sixth American factory later this year, but proposed new tariffs on China could prevent New Balance from being able to import the necessary shoe-making equipment.

"The proposed…tariffs will risk our company's overall financial heath, which will in turn limit our ability to maintain and reinvest in our American factories," New Balance wrote in a letter to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, CNN reported on Monday.

The office is currently collecting public comments ahead of public hearings scheduled for next week on Trump's plan to add more tariffs on Chinese imports. Representatives from more than 300 businesses are expected to testify, mostly in opposition to the tariffs—as was the case last summer during similar hearings on the first rounds of tariffs.

New Balance's newfound opposition to Trump's trade policies is likely to attract more attention than other stories of American companies being harmed by the new import taxes due to the history between the company and the president.

But the underlying issue is the same for New Balance and hundreds of other companies that employ Americans to produce American-made goods. Trade is essential to building a successful American business in an age of global supply chains. Whether a company is making shoes, building cars, or distilling whiskey, erecting barriers to trade is not helping anyone win. The only real question is who will suffer the worse losses.

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  1. Boehm, no more stupid articles about the DOW Jones?

    DOW Jones April 30, 2019: 26,592
    June 18, 2019 @1150: 26,441

    1. You are implying that tariffs boost economic production which is wrong. Tariffs of this scale produce a huge amount of inefficiency not reflected in the market. Especially because the DOW is carried by just a few American technology companies.

      1. I am not implying anything with my comment. I am stating that Boehm is a hack who prints garbage propaganda.

        1. Fair enough. Can I get a couple examples?

          1. Exhibit A: THIS article.

            You want another example?

            1. I don’t see anything wrong with this article so I assume your argument is that he cherry picks his topics

      2. Please point to inflationary data to prove your point Melvin.

        1. Inflationary data to prove my point that tariffs cause market inefficiency?

  2. The company planned to open a sixth American factory later this year, but proposed new tariffs on China could prevent New Balance from being able to import the necessary shoe-making equipment.

    A good reporter would find out what this supposed “shoe-making equipment” is named and why it cannot be purchased from a non-tariff nation, like Vietnam. Vietnam makes shoes too.

    1. Because why just accept the word of the company making shoes, right?

      1. Haha. Good one Eric.

        I am sure the media will be taking Trump’s word for the next thing Trump says.

        1. Yes, you can continue to believe only what you agree with if you choose.

          1. Just like you, right?

            1. Obvious sock is obvious.

              1. Yes. You’re a sock $park¥ _________ (enter suffix here).

          2. And google used to do no evil. And facebook cares about privacy. Way to prove you’re a naive dumbass sparky.

      2. Why not present the full picture?
        When I went to buy NB shoes a few years ago, the bulk of their shoes are made oversees. They have a few models that they make in the US. The author missed this or thought it might paint a different picture than tell the full story. How many pairs of shoes dis NB sell last year? 4 million US made, and how many made oversees? A lot more. If those came from China, then the bulk of their shoes revenue is tariffed, not just the US made ones. Then you need to ask if the tariff on the built shoes cuts into profit impacting the decision to build the US plant. So many unanswered questions.

        1. Don’t go talking sense now… The truth is complicated, and no good reported wants to complicate the narrative!

    2. Are Vietnam businesses so in love with American businesses that they won’t increase their price because their competitors price is now higher? Do they even make the equipment to make the shoes or is it purchased from say China?

      1. I don’t know.

        I am not a self-proclaimed expert on everything trade like Boehm claims to be.

        1. Well then that answers your question from above.

    3. A good reporter would find out what this supposed “shoe-making equipment” is named and why it cannot be purchased from a non-tariff nation, like Vietnam. Vietnam makes shoes too.

      I thought part of your objection with Chinese trade was that they are a single-party communist country. Now you’re solution is to buy from a different communist country?

      1. *your

      2. Part of my problem with certain trade is dealing with Communists. Long term trade with China has clearly made them stronger. I am not outright against trading with Communists.

        Vietnam is NOT China. Buying some shoe-making machines from Vietnam would not allow Vietnam to build a massive blue water navy from a historical brown water navy and get militarily aggressive with every neighbor.

        1. Reason: “Enriching Emperor Xi couldn’t possibly have any downsides. Free trade with slavers is always win-win! My professor told me so!”

    4. ” good reporter would find out what this supposed “shoe-making equipment” is named and why it cannot be purchased from a non-tariff nation, like Vietnam. Vietnam makes shoes too.”

      Now I’m not in favor of tariffs but regards Boehm’s reportage, it’s lazy. “Prevent”? A tariff doesn’t necessarily prevent, but it increases cost, sure. Perhaps Boehm could have researched what is in fact his central point and found out what the increase in machine cost would do to the manufacturing cost of a pair of shoes. But no, we might find out it’ll add 8 cents to a pair of 420s, which is a hell of lot less dramatic than saying one of Trump’s supporters is being hoist by its own petard.

      More importantly, I don’t think New Balance soles are wearing like they used to. It’s quite a sore point with many. 500k out of a pair of 610s? C’mon.

    5. “A good reporter would find out what this supposed ‘shoe-making equipment’ is named and why it cannot be purchased from a non-tariff nation, like Vietnam. Vietnam makes shoes too.”

      What’s stopping you from doing this? How do you know the equipment can even be bought from another country, and at an acceptable price? There’s a big difference between making shoes and making the equipment to make shoes. I’ve done some woodworking, that doesn’t mean I can just whip up a table saw.

  3. Whether a company is making shoes, building cars, or distilling whiskey, erecting barriers to trade is not helping anyone win. The only real question is who will suffer the worse losses.

    For Boehm and his propagandist pals, managed trade policy and the trade restrictions before Jan 20, 2017 were A-Okay.

    1. They were certainly less restrictive if that’s what you mean.

      https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/134/Nirvana_Fallacy

      1. Feel free to compare and contrast how NAFTA was less restrictive than current trade policy with Canada and Mexico.

        Trump did offer Free Trade at the G-7 Summit which would have far less trade restrictions that before Jan 20, 2017. Our trading partners refused the offer.

        Boehm hates that being brought up.

    2. Reason: Free trade is when American workers pay payroll and income taxes, while Emperor Xi’s imports pay no tax.

      Adam Smith favored tariffs to offset local taxes on production:

      “It will generally be advantageous to lay some burden upon foreign industry for the encouragement of domestic industry, when some tax is imposed at home upon the produce of the latter. In this case, it seems reasonable that an equal tax should be imposed upon the like produce of the former. This would not give the monopoly of the borne market to domestic industry, nor turn towards a particular employment a greater share of the stock and labour of the country, than what would naturally go to it. It would only hinder any part of what would naturally go to it from being turned away by the tax into a less natural direction, and would leave the competition between foreign and domestic industry, after the tax, as nearly as possible upon the same footing as before it.”

  4. $400,000 only buys so much dude…

    1. Not even close to two chicks at the same time.

      1. SIV disagrees.

      2. I mean, depending on standards… You could probably score 2 chicks at the same time for like $200-300 bucks on the sketchy hooker cruise in any major city… Just sayin’.

  5. How stupid do you have to be to think you could flush a shoe?

    1. Drunk stupid.

  6. Not being able to import tariff-free machinery, components, and raw materials is going to cause competitiveness problems for U.S. manufacturing.

  7. Man I wish I had some Washington contacts like New Balance to request tariffs on products and then also try to get an exemption. Silly me not having enough disposable income to spend in Washington. Drain the Swamp!

  8. Another shitty article from a shitty writer.

    1. Leave Trump alone! LEAVE HIM ALONE!!!

    2. Give Daddy’s dick back to lovecon89, he was sucking it better.

      1. Chipper Morning Wood loves him some Hillary cock to suck on.

        He then tries to drag other commenters into the cocksucking that he so enjoys.

  9. I don’t sympathize with New Balance any more than the stupid farmers who voted for the Apricot Moron. It was obvious that he was narrow minded, willfully ignorant and just plain lying from the very start.

    Those idiots got what they asked for and we got stuck with him too.

    1. The “basket of deplorables” mindset is strong with this one.

      1. Notice the more upset the Lefties get the more Americans support Trump and don’t buy their propaganda bullshit .

        1. I live in deep conservative country and don’t know anyone who still supports him. There’s a friend of a friend, but that’s as close as it gets anymore. Frankly, asshats like you have ruined it for everyone— no one wants to be associated with you.

          So now we’re probably doomed to some other authoritarian idiot getting in there to ‘restore decorum’ and ‘do the presidency correctly.’ And it’ll suck even more than it does with the orange one. So thanks.

    2. Apricot Moron

      How dare you sir! He’s a Tangerine!

  10. Sneakers? Just wait until it’s President Sanders. Or even Colonel Sanders. And don’t even mention shoe deodorants.

  11. “New Balance Planned To Open a New Sneaker Factory in America. Trump’s Tariffs Might Prevent That From Happening.”

    Another cherry picked *possible, maybe, could happen* downside of Trump’s Tariffs while Trump’s Economy *in fact* roars along.

    Boehm is to tariffs what Shikha is to immigration.

    #ClownMagazine

    1. +1000

  12. Give it a rest.

    1. Reporting on the unlibertarian things politicians do?

      There are plenty of places on the internet if what you want is blind Republican bootlicking, you know.

  13. God damn the Trump rally. They all look the same. Morbidly obese bordering on Gilbert Grape territory. Aggressive facial hair. Fifties and sixties. So, so incredibly dumb. All incapable of forming a coherent thought about anything. Occasionally able to spit out something about Benghazi they heard on Hannity yesterday.

    Libertarians. Allies of people who blindly follow a tinpot asshole politician. I hope you feel good about yourselves.

    1. “I hate Americans with every fiber of my being”

      1. “Only obese Republican morons are real Americans.”

        1. It is because nobody wants to marry a Democrat, Tony.

          1. That’s because Democrat men are so scared of offending Democrat women and having their lives destroyed purely for opening a door for a woman. They all believe that all women should be believed no matter what lies or garbage they spew out. Just look at how the Dems tried to destroy Kavanagh over an accusation over 30 years old. Ford could not produce any shred of evidence of her claims. She had no idea where the party was, who she went with, how she got there, how she got home or even the month or year of the party. None of her friends would back up her story and yet we were supposed to believe she was molested by Kavanagh. The whole thing was a complete farce and it was done as a character assassination because they could find no other way to stop his confirmation.

  14. “There are five New Balance factories in America, all in Maine or Massachusetts,”

    These are both states that voted for Clinton in 2016. Closing down their commie factories seems a just and well deserved punishment.

  15. Your concern trolling is much appreciated, Eric!

  16. I think shoes made from sticks and weeds left behind by the perennially dying chestnut tree shoots in Appalachia are the way forward.

  17. Perhaps New Balance should look to changing their suppliers to American companies. It is probable that the company gets their supplies from China, but surely China cannot be the only country in the world who New Balance can buy from. American companies would certain be preferred if for no other reason than the balance of trade, but there are plenty of other emerging markets such as India where New Balance can obtain their raw materials. It strikes me as a little short sighted that any American company would rely sole on one single country for their supply chain

  18. I do wish Trump were smarter.

    The truth is that if you’re going to slap on tariffs, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

    The right way is to slap it onto basically all finished goods, and NOT on semi finished goods, raw materials, machinery, etc. Due to the byzantine codes we have that classify everything under the sun, this wouldn’t be hard to do.

    This would provide maximum kick in the balls to China, and minimum harm to US based manufacturers. If only Trump’s IQ were as high as mine…

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