New Pentagon policy seen as boost to U.S. sneakers
Massachusetts-based New Balance could get a boost worth tens of millions of dollars with a new Pentagon policy providing military recruits with U.S.-made sneakers.
Matt LeBretton, the company’s spokesman, said New Balance is one of the few companies that makes a shoe meeting all federal requirements. The company manufactures shoes in Lawrence, Boston and Maine.
Acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Christine Fox announced Friday that the Department of Defense will provide military recruits with American-made footwear, rather than giving stipends to buy shoes.
U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, a Lowell Democrat, has estimated that the military had spent about $180 million on cash allowances for recruits to buy sneakers since 2002.
U.S. shoe makers and lawmakers from Maine, Massachusetts and Michigan lobbied for the change to preserve some of the country’s few remaining shoe plants.