Walmart announces goal to invest $350 billion in future of U.S. manufacturing

Business

A Walmart store sign is visible from Route 28, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in Derry, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Walmart announced on Wednesday a goal to invest $350 billion in the “future of U.S. manufacturing” over the next 10 years, according to a company press release.

The Bentonville-based retailer says it estimates this spending will support more than 750,000 new American jobs.

“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.”

According to Walmart’s release, the company identified six priority categories on which to focus its investment: plastics; small electrical appliances; food processing; pharmaceutical and medical supplies; and Goods Not For Resale (GNFR).

The retailer estimates the commitment could result in a reduction of as much as 100M metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided by sourcing closer to customers.

Walmart also announced the launch of a new concept called “American Lighthouses,” which the company says aims to support U.S. manufacturing in a sustainable, long-term way.

The retailer says it plans to unite “key stakeholders” in specific regions of the country to identify and overcome barriers to U.S. production. The Lighthouses will reportedly bring together participants from the supplier community, including manufacturers and NGOs, as well as others from academia, government, and local economic development groups.

In 2013, Walmart announced a commitment to invest $250 billion in products made, grown, or assembled in America. The company says it’s on track to deliver on that commitment and expand on it with Wednesday’s announcement.

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