New Balance teamed with lawmakers on Wednesday to emphasize the importance of domestic footwear production.
During a press conference with five members of Congress, the brand also said jobs could be threatened through the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement being negotiated.
The event was co-hosted by the Rubber and Plastic Footwear Manufacturers Association.
“New Balance is proud to make shoes in the U.S. despite the inherent challenges that caused the rest of the athletic footwear industry to move all of its production offshore,” said New Balance President and CEO Rob DeMartini in a statement. “We recognize the great work that our manufacturing associates do every day, and we hope that the administration will take the appropriate steps to foster and protect domestic manufacturing. There is a national conversation on jobs and the economy, and those in government having this dialogue need to recognize that thousands of jobs hang in the balance.”
Among the congressional members attending the event were Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Scott Brown, Rep. Michael Michaud, Rep. Richard Neal and Rep. Niki Tsongas.
New Balance director of public affairs Matt Le Bretton told Footwear News he hoped lawmakers would be more engaged with the issue in light of the recent news that the apparel worn by U.S. Olympic athletes isn’t manufactured domestically.
“I hope that the people who expressed outrage over the apparel issue will see that this is a real opportunity to do something and support domestic manufacturing jobs,” he said.