Skip to content

Pentagon Runs into Running Shoe ‘Snub’

Stars and Stripes reports that “the Pentagon has stepped into more procurement quicksand, this time [in Lawrence, MA], where it touched off a war of words with the New Balance footwear company, the Lawrence City Council and U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, D-Lowell, by alleging the company’s athletic shoes are not fit for military duty. The company is not allowed to sell shoes on military bases, which it says will cost it the sale of many as 225,000 pairs to recruits and soldiers annually.”  

“It was a snub heard ’round the world, sparking allegations that the Department of Defense prefers shoes made in Vietnam and Malaysia rather than in American hometowns like Lawrence, and amplified by New Balance’s decision to retaliate by taking up arms against President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership. The trade pact would lower tariffs on goods imported from 11 other nations, which New Balance says would flood the market with cheap foreign-made athletic shoes.”  

“Rob DeMartini, New Balance’s president and CEO, said he agreed not to oppose the trade pact in exchange for assurances from Michael Froman, the Obama administration’s top trade official, that he would ease the impact by helping the company get a Defense Department contract to produce up to 225,000 pairs of athletic shoes a year for military recruits and soldiers. That never happened, the company said, then unleashed its attacks on the trade pact after years of reluctant silence.”

Recent Stories

Five races to watch in Pennsylvania primaries on Tuesday

‘You talk too much’— Congressional Hits and Misses

Senators seek changes to spy program reauthorization bill

Editor’s Note: Congress and the coalition-curious

Photos of the week ending April 19, 2024

Rule for emergency aid bill adopted with Democratic support