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Friday, October 2, 2009

Nike's green lobbying: Corporate responsibility or regulatory robbery?

Nike, as an act of protest, relinquished its spot on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's board of directors. Nike supports federal laws restricting greenhouse-gas emissions while the Chamber opposes them. My column explores the angles:
Nike won't bear most of the costs of a cap-and-trade scheme in the U.S. because Nike doesn't make stuff in the U.S. Cap-and-trade adds to manufacturing costs by attaching a price to emissions, which makes energy more expensive. But "a vast majority" of Nike goods are made overseas, a company spokesman told me in an email.

While Nike outsources its manufacturing to factories in Vietnam and other poor countries where greenhouse gasses are unregulated, some of its competition makes their shoes here in the U.S., where Nike is lobbying to increase costs.

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