The 12-nation Pacific trade deal holds importance for Nike, one of the largest importers of footwear in the U.S., with large percentages of imports coming from Vietnam. Reuters reported that the White House issued a statement, declaring that Obama will use the trip to Nike headquarters to “discuss how workers will benefit from progressive, high-standards trade agreements that would open up new markets and support high-quality jobs.”
As Obama hurries to advance TPP, he faces opposition from fellow Democrats who are afraid the deal will hurt American jobs.
The Oregon Trade Fair Campaign, a grassroots organization, said it plans to protest outside of the Nike campus. In a statement to the Portland Business Journal, the group said, “The TPP model of globalization, epitomized by Nike, is to offshore jobs to countries with horrendous labor and environmental practices. That’s great for corporate elites who want to sell sweatshop-made goods at a huge mark-up, but it’s awful for Americans looking for good-paying jobs.”
The White House said Obama’s trip is unrelated to Nike’s $50 million contribution to the First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign.