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Nike says it would add 10,000 jobs if trade pact is approved

COURTESY OF WHITEHOUSE.GOV - President Obama talked about the impact of a proposed trade promotion authority agreement making its way through Congress during his speech Friday morning at the Nike campus in Washington County. Nike says it could add 10,000 new jobs in a decade if the trade pact is adopted.Nike officials said on Friday, May 8, that the athletic apparel giant would create 10,000 new jobs in the next decade and boost its U.S. manufacturing operations if a proposed trade agreement is approved by Congress.

Nike’s announcement came about an hour before President Barack Obama was scheduled to speak at the company’s Washington County world headquarters.

The President came to Nike to promote the trade promotion authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which are working their way through the House and Senate. Obama says the trade agreement, also known as “fast-track,” would “level the playing field” for U.S. companies trying to compete in world export markets.

In an announcement released Friday morning, Nike said the company plans to accelerate investment in advanced footwear manufacturing in the United States if the trade pact is adopted. Footwear tariff relief would allow Nike to accelerate development of new advanced manufacturing methods and a domestic supply chain to support U.S.-based manufacturing.

“We believe agreements that encourage free and fair trade allow Nike to do what we do best: innovate, expand our businesses and drive economic growth,” said Mark Parker, Nike Inc. president and chief executive officer. “Nike has always led the way in product innovation, and now we will be able to accelerate our investments to continue to drive manufacturing innovation.”

U.S. manufacturing would allow Nike to deliver its products to markets faster, create innovative footwear and advance sustainability goals, Parker said.

“We commend President Obama for his strong leadership to advance these important trade initiatives,” he said. “Our employees and our business depend on free trade and the ability to reach athletes and consumers around the world.”

Nike has about 26,000 people working in the United States, including more than 8,500 in Oregon. The company does business in 190 countries.

Nike makes some of its footwear air soles in Oregon and Missouri.

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