Walmart’s Made in America Pledge Could Still Use Some Work

Chain imports more consumer goods than any other retailer — and its imports increased in 2015

Walmart, the nation’s largest importer of foreign consumer goods, hosts its annual U.S. Manufacturing Summit in Arkansas on Tuesday. The summit is part of the company’s public commitment to buy $250 billion worth of American-made products by 2023.

Said Scott Paul, President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM):

“As I’ve said since the pledge’s initial announcement, it’s an undeniably good thing that America’s largest retailer sees the value in promoting American-made products. But when you look at the numbers, this pledge isn’t even a drop in Walmart’s bucket.

“Walmart is the country’s top retail importer. Since its 2013 pledge, the company’s imports have continued to increase, suggesting that while the retailer might technically be buying a few more American-made products, Walmart is also just buying more products. In this case, volume isn’t a commitment, it is a business decision — and I encourage Walmart to dramatically alter its import product mix rather than padding its goal total by counting perishable groceries, which can’t really be outsourced.

“The good news is that trends show consumers are proud to buy American, and there’s a real opportunity for Walmart to make a difference here by helping consumers understand their purchases in meaningful ways. Imagine, for example, leaving the store with your receipt and noticing a line at the bottom that states how much money you spent on American-made products. This not only supports our makers; it incentivizes our consumers.

“At the end of the day, it is simple: when you buy American-made products, you support American jobs. If retailers like Walmart are truly committed to America’s manufacturers, they will take the extra effort to support our manufacturing jobs by sourcing far more U.S. products — and cutting imports.”

Walmart has committed $10 million in grants to support American-made goods. To help put that into perspective, here are some interesting stats:

  • Walmart makes $34,985 in profit every minute, meaning that Walmart makes $10 million in profit approximately every five hours.
  • More than 100 U.S. jobs were displaced for every actual or promised job created through its Investing in American jobs initiative.

The full fact sheet and Walmart’s corrected infographic can be viewed at