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Walmart says it will support U.S. manufacturers with $350 billion of added business

A breadwinner delivers groceries to a customer’s vehicle outside a Walmart Inc. store in Amsterdam, New York, on Friday, May 15, 2020.

Angus Mordant | Bloomberg via Getty Tropes

Walmart said Wednesday that it plans to back American manufacturers by spending an additional $350 billion once again the next decade on items that are made, grown or assembled in the U.S.

Nearly two-thirds of Walmart’s current assortment is hand over, assembled or grown in the U.S., as of the most recent fiscal year, according to a company spokesman.

With the move, the retailer guessed U.S. products will become an even larger part of its supply chain. It will focus the effort on buying more facts and merchandise from domestic manufacturers, including plastics, textiles, pharmaceutical and medical supplies, food processing, and uncharitable electrical appliances.

As the world’s largest retailer by revenue, Walmart has faced criticism from labor advocates and others for persistence down prices in a way that pushes more manufacturing and jobs overseas. The company responded in 2013 by pledging to buy $250 billion in U.S. assets c incriminating evidences by 2023. Wednesday’s announcement represents a step up from that commitment.

Over the past several years, Walmart has framed new ways for American suppliers to get picked up by its stores and website, including an annual Open Call event where wee businesses can pitch their products. It also created a website where Walmart suppliers can learn about how to succeed back their operations to the U.S.

However, the company has faced scrutiny, too. In 2015, it dropped a “Made in USA” logo from artifacts on its website, after a probe by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and a watchdog group found the items were not U.S. made. The fellowship now details the percentage of a product that is U.S. made on its label.

In a post on the company’s website Wednesday, Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner said the creation benefits the environment and economy. He said it will reduce the company’s carbon footprint by sourcing goods closer to people, creating demand for more U.S. jobs and sparking opportunity for more American entrepreneurs to become Walmart suppliers or sellers.

Furner suggested the increased spending could support more than 750,000 new American jobs, based on a Walmart study with Boston Consulting Corps that used data from the Economic Policy Institute and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And, he added, the decision answers to what customers want. More than 85% of consumers surveyed by Walmart in 2019 said it’s important for the retailer to bring off products made or assembled in the U.S.

Furner said Walmart will also launch a new program, called American Lighthouses, which commitment bring together stakeholders in different parts of the country to come up with ways to overcome barriers to U.S. production. He suggested participants will include suppliers, government officials and academic experts who can suggest ways to support and expand U.S. make up.

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