Valley Benefits from Pentagon’s American-Made Policy

New Balance Athletic Shoe, a Massachusetts-based footwear manufacturer, is one beneficiary of a new Pentagon policy to buy American-made products.

Appearing recently on Comcast Newsmakers, Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council President David Tibbetts discussed the impact on New Balance’s Lawrence manufacturing operation.

“It’s huge. The Pentagon has always, of course, provided footwear for its recruits. The tradition had been to simply give vouchers to the recruits, and they would go to their local footwear store and buy something that was invariably made in Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam or wherever much athletic footwear is made these days.”

Tibbetts credited U.S. Reps. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.) and Michael H. Michaud (D-Maine) for changing the policy of the U.S. Department of Defense. He also discussed other manufacturing success stories in the Merrimack Valley.

“Medical devices is very, very strong in the Merrimack Valley.” He explained NxStage Medical of Lawrence, a provider of home dialysis equipment, was named one of the fastest growing companies in the world.

Tibbetts formerly served in the cabinets of Governors William F. Weld and A. Paul Cellucci as secretary of economic affairs, as general counsel for the Executive Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation under Weld and as legislative counsel and general counsel to the Executive Office of Energy Resources and acting secretary of energy resources under Gov. Michael S. Dukakis.

The Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council was founded 15 years ago and serves 24 communities in Greater Lowell, Greater Lawrence, Greater Haverhill and Greater Newburyport.

Comcast Newsmakers is a five-minute series of segments airing on CNN Headline News.

See related video.