NORMAN — Early this year, retail giant Wal-Mart pledged to redouble its efforts to buy more U.S.-made products to generate American jobs. President and CEO Bill Simon said the company would buy $50 billion more U.S. products in the next decade.
It was a return to store founder Sam Walton’s pledge to buy American-made goods.
At the time, critics scoffed at the announcement and said Arkansas-based Wal-Mart led the migration of manufacturing jobs overseas with its search for cheap products made by cheap, non-union labor.
Now, Mr. Simon joined manufacturers, governors, state officials and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce this week at a summit aimed at encouraging others to promote American products.
Wal-Mart officials said that if other companies would follow their lead, it would mean an additional $500 billion in U.S.-made goods sold by 2023. It’s a heady challenge, but Wal-Mart’s actions will speak loudly.