The Obama Administration is doing everything possible to silence businesses and business leaders who oppose free-trade giveaways like the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In at least one documented instance (sources here, here, here, and below), the Obama Administration offered serious consideration for a Defense Department contract to a company if the company would quit publicly criticizing the TPP:
New Balance, which manufacturers some of their sneakers in the United States, was offered serious consideration for a Defense Department contract to manufacture athletic shoes for members of the U.S. Armed Forces if New Balance executives shut up about how TPP would force companies like New Balance to compete with companies that manufacture in countries like Vietnam, whose minimum wage is the equivalent of 65¢/hour. Prior to being offered consideration for the contract, New Balance officials had been critical of TPP, but they backed off of their criticism of the TPP once the Defense Department considered them for a contract. Now, New Balance officials are renewing their fight against the TPP after they alleged that the Pentagon is intentionally delaying the purchase of shoes from New Balance.
If this is even remotely true, then this represents the kind of corrupt, Chicago-style machine politics that has no place anywhere in America.