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Walmart said yesterday that it will partner with the National Retail Federation (NRF) to bring together some 1,500 people - "including representatives from more than 500 supplier companies, 32 states, major retail industry leaders and other retailers" - to help drive more domestic manufacturing in the US.

According to the announcement, "Governors and state officials will have the opportunity to connect directly with hundreds of manufacturers who are ready to create jobs in their areas. Likewise, for supplier companies, it is an opportunity to present potential projects and learn about the resources available in different states."

Among the participants from outside companies are Jeff Immelt, Chairman & CEO of GE, and Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder & CEO of Chobani; Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce; ands the governors of Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Maine, New Mexico, Idaho, Florida and West Virginia.

Mike Duke, President & CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Bill Simon, President & CEO of Walmart U.S., Rosalind Brewer, President & CEO of Sam’s Club, and Duncan Mac Naughton, EVP, Chief Merchandising & Marketing Officer of Walmart U.S., also are scheduled to attend.

The summit is scheduled to take place in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday, August 22, from 1-4 pm.
KC's View:
I'm not sure they're going to get a lot done in three hours, aside from some pretty good posturing. But I suppose that anything that draws attention to the importance of supporting legitimate made-in-the-USA products is a good thing. I just think that companies have to be careful not to simply give this issue lip service ... my sense is that shallow support could be worse than no support at all.