WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 26, 2017 – Walmart has a plan to grow U.S.-based manufacturing, centered on addressing what it believes to be barriers to manufacturing in the United States.
Toward that end, the retail giant convened a broad group of individuals and organizations representing government, business, and non-governmental organizations from across the country to present a "Policy Roadmap to Renew U.S. Manufacturing." The meeting included a bipartisan conversation about the current challenges and opportunities in the U.S. manufacturing sector as well as case studies of successful collaboration among key stakeholders.
“As we’ve worked over the last four years alongside our suppliers toward our goal to source an additional $250 billion in products that support American jobs, we’ve learned a great deal about the challenges our suppliers face in domestic manufacturing,” said Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart vice president for U.S. Sourcing and Manufacturing. “The good news is we’ve also learned how to overcome the challenges and, because of our experience, Walmart is uniquely positioned to help facilitate broad engagement in accelerating the expansion of U.S. manufacturing.”
According to analysis conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), decreasing policy barriers to domestic manufacturing creates an opportunity to recapture approximately $300 billion in consumer goods that are currently imported, including furniture, cookware, and sporting goods, potentially resulting in the creation of an estimated 1.5 million American jobs. The analysis, which laid the foundation for the policy roadmap, leveraged BCG’s expertise in economic policy and manufacturing along with Walmart’s sourcing data and included interviews with merchants, suppliers, and other policy experts.
Walmart’s Policy Roadmap to Renew U.S. Manufacturing offers a comprehensive approach to tackling the major barriers that keep companies from manufacturing more consumer goods in the United States, and proposes specific policies that have the potential to effectively accelerate and grow U.S. manufacturing. The roadmap identifies the highest impact policy barriers as:
- coordination and financing
- tax and trade.
“Enhancing US manufacturing is a top priority of mine,” said U.S. Representative Tom Reed, who serves as co-chair of the House Manufacturing Caucus. “Manufacturing is an advancing field where new technologies will open doors to job creation and economic growth. We must work together to remove barriers so that we are more competitive and good paying jobs are once again created right here in the United States.”
The roadmap (see download below) details 10 concrete policy actions that can be taken to address these barriers and goes a step further to suggest the appropriate entities, including federal, state, and local governments, manufacturers, and businesses, that must collaborate on those policy actions to affect meaningful change that will unlock greater growth and job creation in domestic manufacturing of consumer goods.
“It’s important to note that there is no silver bullet that will solve the problem on its own. The barriers to domestic manufacturing are just too broad and too complex,” said Dustin Burke, a partner in BCG’s manufacturing practice. “The purpose of Walmart’s Policy Roadmap to Renew U.S. Manufacturing is to provide a framework for collaboration among key stakeholders and highlight 10 actionable policy levers that, taken together, can help strengthen U.S. manufacturing and significantly reduce long-term unemployment.”
Last month, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon signaled the company’s intention to pursue policy proposals that help create a favorable climate for job creation in his remarks to more than 500 small- and medium-sized companies that attended Walmart’s fourth annual Open Call for U.S. products on June 28. “We are also committed to participating as a leader in the country when it comes to policy,” he said. “We believe that we should be one of the voices at the table and we want to help renew U.S. manufacturing and drive the creation of manufacturing jobs across the United States.”
According to data from its suppliers, approximately two-thirds of Walmart U.S. merchandise spending is for items that are made, assembled, sourced, or grown in the U.S. In 2013, Walmart committed to sourcing an additional $250 billion over ten years on products that support American jobs.