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American President Barack Obama made the strongest case yet for trade as he visited NIKE world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon on May 8. The US Footwear Distributors and Retailers Association (FDRA) through its President Matt Priest was invited as a special guest, representing the U.S footwear industry at the event.
In a speech before NIKE employees and other Oregon businesses, President Obama effectively laid out the importance of trade, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and its benefits to American working families saying, "What this trade agreement would do is open the doors to higher-skilled, higher-wage jobs of the future - jobs that we excel at."
Highlighting footwear jobs throughout the industry's supply chain has been at the forefront of FDRA's advocacy efforts over the last five years. “Design, distribution, marketing, retail, compliance and manufacturing jobs all rely on our ability to move goods all over the world. The $2.7 billion in tariffs levied against footwear imports last year here in the United States do nothing more than hamper innovation and stifle job creation”, say the FDRA.