As my nana used to say: "The fishmonger never yells 'Rotten fish for sale!'" Explain to me how an agreement that makes it easier and cheaper to place jobs overseas creates jobs here. These alleged Nike jobs will never materialize:
President Obama will take his campaign for a free trade deal to the headquarters of Nike Friday, where he's extracted a pledge from the world's largest athletic shoe company that it will hire 10,000 workers in the United States over the next decade if a Pacific trade agreement passes Congress.
But Obama's appearance at a company known for importing shoes from contract factories in the Pacific Rim is also drawing protests from unions and other liberal groups who oppose the trade deal.
In Beaverton, Ore., Obama will argue that free trade will create American jobs by reducing barriers to selling American goods overseas. Nike says reducing tariffs would allow it to invest in manufacturing in the United States, allowing it to export more shoes, get them to domestic customers faster, and even customize more shoes for its customers.
At first, Nike seemed like an unlikely venue for a speech touting the virtues of free trade. It has 26,000 employees in the United States, but 330,000 in Vietnam, where the minimum wage is 56 cents an hour.
"We believe agreements that encourage free and fair trade allow Nike to do what we do best: innovate, expand our businesses and drive economic growth," Nike President Mark Parker said in a statement released to coincide with Obama's speech. He said Nike's investments would also result in another 40,000 jobs from U.S. contractors, although the company provided few specifics of its plans.