Martinez Hopes Wal-Mart's Manufacturing Push Helps NM

26 Aug 2013

Dennis Domrzalski
Reporter- Albuquerque Business First

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. wants to bring more manufacturing back to the U.S., and Gov. Susana Martinez and New Mexico economic development officials are hoping the state will benefit from the giant retailer’s push.

Martinez and five others from New Mexico, including Steve Vierck, CEO of the New Mexico Partnership, attended Wal-Mart’s U.S. Manufacturing Summit in Orlando, Fla., last week, and Vierck said it was more than promising.

“It’s really a full-court press by Wal-Mart” to bring manufacturing back to the U.S., Vierck said. “Gov. Martinez was there pushing our distribution” and other facilities.

Wal-Mart has pledged to buy $50 billion more in U.S. made goods over the next 10 years. Its Orlando conference brought together 500 of its suppliers with officials from 34 states.

Vierck said Wal-Mart provided booths for the various states and also scheduled meetings between state officials and its suppliers, Vierck said. The retailer had set up 12 meetings for New Mexico officials during the Aug. 22-23 conference. In addition, New Mexico had two other appointments, Vierck added.

“We met with electric products manufacturers, hardware suppliers, food companies and plastic companies,” Vierck said. “We have a lot of follow up to do.”

Rising labor costs in China and lower energy costs in the U.S. have made America a more attractive place for manufacturers.

“The U.S. is a preferable location in many (manufacturing) areas. Some of the areas that we lost in the past decade are opening up again,” Vierck said. “It was a very productive conference.”

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