WASHINGTON — The world’s largest retailer, Walmart Stores, announced Thursday three new manufacturing projects by suppliers in the United States to produce footwear, curtains and glassware as part of a broader commitment to “buy American.”
Bill Simon, Walmart’s U.S. president and CEO, made the announcement with U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker at SelectUSA, a two-day event designed to promote investment and job creation in the United States.
President Barack Obama, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and other top officials will also speak at the SelectUSA conference.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart, the largest private employer in the world with some 1.3 million employees in the United States, said the three projects would create 385 jobs.
Elan-Polo Inc. will start production of injection-molded footwear in March at a factory in Hazelhurst, Ga. The company previously made the shoes overseas.
Elan-Polo CEO Joe Russell cited “support and encouragement” from Walmart, which it has been supplying with goods for 35 years.
EveryWare Global Inc. will produce canning jars for Walmart at its Monaca, Penn., facility, establishing a new made in the U.S. product line.
And Louis Hornick and Co., a Walmart supplier for four decades, will establish a new facility in Allendale County, S.C., to make window coverings and home textiles.
Reuters reported in September that in advance of Walmart’s patriotic pledge, many of the company’s longtime suppliers had already decided to produce in the United States as rising wages in China and elsewhere eroded the allure of offshore production.