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Today we caught wind of an interesting story up in Maine discussing the policy conflict between New Balance and its fellow New England footwear brands, including Converse, adidas, Saucony, Sperry Top-Sider, and Clarks. President Obama is in the midst of arranging a new trade agreement between the US and Pacific countries, and evidently, shoes are much debated piece of that process.
The Portland Press Herald explains that New Balance supports the import tariff that its competitors are fighting against, noting that the tariffs are crucial in preserving over 1000 New Balance manufacturing jobs in Maine and Massachusetts. Meanwhile, the other companies (none of which manufacture domestically), argue that high duties make shoes artificially expensive, preventing their ability to expand domestic production. Sounds to be a double-edged sword and we're curious to see how the situation unfolds.
· New England shoe companies out of step on tariff [Portland Press Herald]
· New Balance New HQ Plans Prove Brighton's Got Sole [Racked Boston]
· American Blanket Co. Reviving Fall River's Textile History [Racked Boston]