Walmart Promotes Made In America Suppliers

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), under siege because of its labor practices, has decided to promote itself as a company which uses “made in America” goods and suppliers. Through buying from U.S. companies, Walmart argues it creates jobs.

Walmart has begun to spread its new campaign via Twitter among other media. Its message:

Real people, real jobs. Now. See who helps supply Walmart with products from U.S. factories

The tweets take people to a Walmart site which describes how the world’s largest retailer supports the American economy:

Work is a Beautiful Thing
Over the next 10 years, Walmart is investing $250 billion in products that support American jobs.

Walmart gets much more detailed in its message. In a series of stories called “I am a factory,” it describes the work lives of people employed by Walmart suppliers. These messages are meant to demonstrate how Walmart helps the jobs economy in America company-by-company, person-by-person. The promotion goes further to describe factories and companies which have been re-opened as part of a renaissance of American industry

At the center of Walmart’s promotion about its support of U.S. suppliers is the company’s January 2013 announcement that it would buy an additional $50 billion in U.S. products in 10 years.

When you add up what we spend each year, our pledge is to buy an additional $250 billion in American products.

We will accomplish this by working with suppliers to:

  • Increase what we already buy of U.S. manufactured goods
  • Source “new to Walmart” U.S. manufactured goods
  • Re-shore the manufacturing of goods we currently buy by facilitating and accelerating efforts of our suppliers

These messages beg the question of how many of these jobs will pay above minimum wage. Walmart continues to weather tremendous attacks about what its pays its 1.2 million workers in the U.S. Some of these workers live below the poverty line. Its “Made in America” message won’t lessen the aggressive attacks unless it can prove the jobs created by its manufacturers pay better than the jobs it offers workers at its stores.

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