We’ve written before on this site about the farce that is Walmart’s “US manufacturing” initiative. Now, as Walmart prepares for its next US manufacturing summit in Bentonville, AR, the Journal of Commerce has released a new list of America’s top importers and you-know-who tops the list once again.
Walmart is #1 on the list by a long shot! With almost 50% more imports than the number two company on the list—Target—Walmart even managed to increase its imports from last year. In fact, Walmart’s imports have increased by more than 6% since last year. This is the largest single year increase in Walmart imports since 2005. By comparison, Target’s imports increased less than 2%.
This should be a little embarrassing for a company that has talked as much as it has about bringing manufacturing back to the United States. But, the Walmart public relations staff is used to having to do their best to explain away facts.
Walmart does its best to limit what the public does know about their imports by petitioning the U.S. Customs service to conceal information about the company’s shipments. As a result, it’s very likely that the Journal of Commerce actually undercounts imports tied to Walmart. This is also likely because many of the other top importers on the Journal of Commerce list (from Samsung Electronics to Dole Foods) have many of their imports sent straight to Walmart stores.
Even when Walmart does sell things that are “manufactured in the USA”, consumers and the public have good reason to be skeptical. Last year, the Alliance for American manufacturing complained to the Federal Trade Commission in response to Walmart selling almost entirely Chinese-made TVs in stores labeled “Assembled in America.” Eight months later, we can’t even find the American flags that used to emblazon Element TV’s website. What’s next in Walmart’s empty PR about reviving the American manufacturing industry that they themselves helped destroy? Stay tuned!