Bill Simon, Walmart’s U.S. CEO, says there’s a common misperception about his company. “According to urban legend, our stores are filled with products that weren’t made in the U.S.,” Simon said in a speech at the National Retail Federation convention.
A majority of Walmart’s spending, however, is on goods that were manufactured in America, he said.
“According to data from our suppliers, two-thirds of our spending is on American-made products,” Simon said. “America is still the biggest manufacturer in the world.”
Walmart plans to use even more made-in-America products, spending an additional $50 billion over the next 10 years, Simon said.
“We also plan on giving suppliers the certainty they need by signing longer contracts,” he said. “Increasing what we already buy here will help American manufacturing.”
Simon said the push for American manufacturing won’t cause prices to go up for consumers. He also said the company would continue to make the same profits.
“Walmart isn’t a charity, it’s a business,” Simon said. “We’re not going to do something that will raise prices or hurt our margins.”
A report by think-tank Demos alleged that Walmart’s imported products eliminated 133,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Shelly Banjo, retail reporter for the Wall Street Journal, pointed out that Walmart’s “two-thirds” figure isn’t as impressive as it seems.
“Would point out that 55% of walmart is groceries though,” Banjo said in a tweet.
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