Walmart this week issued its fourth open call for U.S.-made products, as part of a larger initiative that kicked off in 2013, when the company pledged to purchase $250 billion in products over the next 10 years that support the creation of American jobs.
“We are excited to once again invite businesses from all 50 states to meet with Walmart buyers, who have one goal in mind: to buy more American products for our stores, clubs and Walmart.com,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart’s VP of U.S. manufacturing. “By investing in products that support American jobs, we are able to bring new products to our shelves that our customers want and new jobs to our communities. Increasing domestic manufacturing will help create additional jobs in the U.S., and that’s good for American businesses.”
The open call beckons both current and potential U.S. suppliers. But the event — hosted at Walmart’s corporate offices in Bentonville, Ark., on June 28 — is centered around buyer meetings. Therefore, only suppliers accepted for a buyer meeting will be invited to attend, according to the company.
Walmart also promises that attendees will hear an update from the company’s leadership about its progress on the ‘Made in America’ initiative, learn the latest customer insights on Walmart shoppers, and receive Supplier Academy learning sessions.
The Bigger Picture
While several U.S.-based firms have focused on made-in-America products, as well as creating more American jobs, over the years, the Trump administration’s rhetoric and several policy proposals have recently placed renewed focus on domestic manufacturing, albeit controversially.
Matt Priest, president of Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America, said back in April that, despite President Trump’s protectionist rhetoric, several of his administration’s proposed policies — including a potential border adjusted tax (BAT) — could do more harm than good for U.S. consumers and corporations.
“A lot of production here relies on foreign inputs, and [with the BAT], you won’t be able to deduct the cost of those inputs from federal income tax filing,” Priest said. “That’s going to hurt domestic manufacturing, but it’s marketed by the House Republicans as a ‘Made in the USA’ tax. Our supply chains are so integrated and diverse that it’s hard to separate rhetoric and understand where the policy will actually encourage domestic production.”