The world’s largest retailer, Walmart said that it will invest $350 billion in products grown, assembled or made in the nation. This investment will be made over a period of ten years and will create 750,000 jobs.
The company said that it will commit to source American made products in the following categories: plastic, small electrical appliances, food processing, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and textiles.
President Biden has promised to make domestic production a priority. In January the government passed an executive order telling government agencies to buy more American goods. This initiative is a result of federal efforts that are committed to reviving the U.S. economy.
The White House said that the these investments will help create well-paid, union jobs and build the nation’s economy back better so that everybody has a fair shot at the middle class
In 2013, Walmart had made a similar announcement with an investment of $250 billion. However, it came under the lens of consumer advocacy groups for putting misleading labels and it was reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Walmart, with its nearly 4,800 stores across the U.S., said that its efforts could reduce carbon emissions as it would be sourcing products closer to its warehouses.
Walmart’s recent Made in America efforts have been at the receiving end of criticism. Truth in Advertising has said that the retailer’s labeling of U.S. made goods has been deceptive and misleading.
In 2015 the consumer advocacy non profit group had said that it had found that the retailer had put misleading labels on products more than 100 times. These products ranged from teeth whitening strips to liquid eyeliner.
Truth in Advertising had reported these findings to the FTC who briefly investigated the matter but closed it after concluding that Walmart had taken enough steps to stop deceiving consumers.
Earlier this year the group filed another complaint about misleading labels on vacuum cleaners, bath towels and other products which had imported parts. It asked the agency to “put an end to Walmart’s deceptive made in the U.S.A. claims once and for all.”
In a statement Walmart said that it commends the group’s efforts and shares its interests. It said that it takes the company’s commitment to manufacturing in the U.S. seriously and hopes to expand it and create job growth.