Walmart has strengthened its commitment to U.S. manufacturing with a $350-billion investment over the next 10 years and has announced the launch of “American Lighthouses,” a collaborative program to better sustain manufacturing in strategic regions of the country
The retailer estimates that this will support more than 750,000 new American jobs.
In 2013, Walmart made a commitment to invest $250 billion in products made, grown, or assembled in America. Walmart is on track to deliver on that commitment – and expand on it with today’s announcement.
“U.S. manufacturing really matters,” said John Furner, President & CEO, Walmart U.S., who made the announcement at Techtronic Industries (TTI) in Anderson, S.C. “It matters to our suppliers, to entrepreneurs and to the environment. It matters to our customers – more than 85 percent of which have said it’s important for us to carry products made or assembled in the U.S. And most of all, because of the jobs it brings, it matters to American communities and the people who live in them.”
Walmart has identified six priority categories on which to focus its investment: textiles; plastics; small electrical appliances; food processing; pharmaceutical and medical supplies; and Goods Not For Resale (GNFR).
The impact of this commitment goes beyond products and jobs. It could result in an estimated reduction of as much as 100M metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided by sourcing closer to customers, as well as an increase in spending with diverse suppliers based in the U.S.
In addition, Walmart will launch a new concept called “American Lighthouses,” with the goal of supporting U.S. manufacturing in a sustainable, long-term way. The retailer plans to unite key stakeholders in specific regions of the country to identify and overcome barriers to U.S. production. These Lighthouses will bring together participants from the supplier community, including manufacturers and NGOs, as well as others from academia, government, and local economic development groups.
Walmart’s announcement drew bipartisan support from federal officials who represent states that are home to Walmart suppliers.
“It is an honor to have Walmart’s CEO John Furner launch the company’s 10-year investment from TTI’s Anderson, South Carolina, facility,” said U.S. Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina. “I am passionate about bolstering the American supply chain and creating more high-paying jobs in South Carolina and for folks all across the country. Congratulations and thank you to Walmart for the great impact you will continue to make on our nation’s economy.”
“I want to congratulate Walmart on increasing its commitment to U.S. manufacturing,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, home to Zenith Home Corp./Maytex manufacturing. “Zenith/Maytex manufactures and assembles home fashion products we can see on store shelves in our local Walmart, and the company has been able to strengthen its operations with help from the Delaware Manufacturing Extension partnership. We’re proud that Zenith’s story of investing in the U.S. is one today’s announcement aspires to replicate across the country.”