Walmart will invest $350 billion in U.S. manufacturing over the next 10 years, a move the retailer estimates will support the creation of more than 750,000 new American jobs. The investment builds on a 2013 commitment to invest $250 billion in products made, grown or assembled in the U.S.
Walmart has identified six priority categories for investment: textiles; plastics; small electrical appliances; food processing; pharmaceutical and medical supplies; and Goods Not For Resale. The retail giant also will launch a new concept called “American Lighthouses,” with the goal of supporting U.S. manufacturing in sustainable, long-term ways.
American Lighthouses will unite key stakeholders in specific regions of the country to identify and overcome barriers to U.S. production. The Lighthouses will bring together participants from the supplier community, including manufacturers and NGOs, as well as others from academia, government and local economic development groups. Walmart estimates that this initiative could generate an estimated reduction of as much as 100 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. The cuts would come from sourcing closer to customers as well as increased spending with diverse suppliers based in the U.S.
“U.S. manufacturing really matters,” said John Furner, President and CEO of Walmart U.S. in a statement. “It matters to our suppliers, to entrepreneurs and to the environment. It matters to our customers — more than 85% 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.”