New Balance shoe are worn during a meeting with Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine, on Wednesday, July, 18, 2012 in Washington. DeMartini and workers from the New Balance factories in New England were on Capitol Hill to press their case for saving American job by stopping the elimination of the trariff on imported shoes under discussion in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc.)

New Balance’s Cronyism

This is just amazing. It is also outrageous. New Balance stopped opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership in exchange for becoming the sole manufacturer of running shoes for the military. But the military opposes the deal because they have the data to show it will increase injury.

Last month, New Balance revealed the company disengaged from the fight over the Trans-Pacific Partnership last year because it had cut a secret deal with the Obama administration. New Balance vice president Matt LeBretton told National Public Radio the “trade ambassador came to us and said, ‘look, I know you have this other initiative – you want to sell shoes to the military?’”

The “big, sweet military contract,” as NPR described it, came at a price though.

Read the whole thing.

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Erick Erickson

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