New Balance

Military Recruits Getting Made-In-The-USA Athletic Trainers

Jan 28, 2019
Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine - U.S. military personnel wear fatigues, helmets and boots that are made in the United States. Now they're getting Made-in-the-USA kicks, too.

SKOWHEGAN, Maine - Maine fire officials say a bolt of lightning ignited a fire at a shoe factory in Skowhegan over the weekend.
The lightning strike started a fire Friday night at the New Balance factory, but firefighters were able to quickly respond and extinguish the flames. Skowhegan Fire Chief Shawn Howard says flames were visible from the roof around 6:30 p.m. Friday when firefighters arrived.

What Trump's Withdrawal from an Asia Trade Deal Could Mean for Maine

Jan 24, 2017
Jay Field / Maine Public/file

PORTLAND, Maine — The last time New Balance spoke out on trade policy, its shoes ended up in trash cans and on fire.

That might be why the company was silent about winning a years-long trade battle its leaders said would protect about 900 Maine manufacturing jobs from an onslaught of shoe imports from Vietnam.

Military contractors in Maine could benefit from a defense authorization bill moving through Congress.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine, who serves on the House-Senate conference committee that just completed work on the bill, says New Balance will benefit from provisions that will phase in the requirement over two years that athletic footwear for the military be made in America.

“It allows the Defense Department to procure other shoes for a two-year period while they phase in the made in America. New Balance is ready to meet the requirement,” he says.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A move by some Republicans in the U.S. House to strip out language enforcing the decades-old law requiring clothing and shoes used by the military to be made in the U.S. was defeated 265 to 155.

Maine 2nd District Rep. Bruce Poliquin sponsored the original language - part of the National Defense Authorization Act - which mirrors similar language in the Senate version of the bill, authored by Maine Sen. Angus King.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin has beaten back an attempt to remove his language from the National Defense Authorization Act which would require the Defense Department to buy uniforms and related equipment, such as boots and athletic shoes, from American manufacturers.

"This is a huge victory for the state of Maine if we can bring this to conclusion," Poliquin says. "There are 900 athletic shoe manufacturing jobs that are in our 2nd District, in Skowhegan, Norridgewock, and Norway, Maine."

BANGOR, Maine - A Maine manufacturer is applauding the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee's approval of an amendment that would require the Department of Defense to procure American-made athletic footwear for its troops.

The amendment proposed by independent Sen. Angus King, a member of the committee, is part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, and directs the DOD to treat athletic footwear for troops as part of the uniform.

SKOWHEGAN, Maine - Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine and Democratic Rep. Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts are making progress in their effort to make the Defense Department buy U.S.-made sneakers.

Tsongas, a member of the Armed Services Committee, attached language proposed by the two to the National Defense Authorization Act that would require the Pentagon to adhere to a statutory requirement to buy domestically produced sneakers.

Poliquin spent the last 48 hours lobbying more than 30 Republicans on the committee. The amendment passed the committee Wednesday.

Jay Field / MPBN

New Balance, which employs 900 people in Maine, has renewed its opposition to a trade deal that would allow cheaper imports from abroad.

Jay Field / MPBN

NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine - Led by a wave of Democratic opposition, the U.S. House of Representatives voted down a bill Friday that would have given President Obama so-called "fast track" authority to finalize a free trade deal with 12 Pacific Rim nations.