UPDATE 1-White House says will let Nike "share their news" on Obama visit

Thu May 7, 2015 5:37pm EDT
 
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(Adds details, background on trade debate)

By Jeff Mason

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE May 7 (Reuters) - The White House declined to say on Thursday whether Nike Inc would be making a company announcement to coincide with President Barack Obama's visit to the company's Oregon headquarters on Friday.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday that Nike "is likely to make its own manufacturing announcement" on Friday "around the time that Obama speaks at the Nike headquarters." The newspaper did not provide a source for the assertion.

Asked whether Nike would be making an announcement to coincide with Obama's visit, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said: "I'm going to let Nike share their news when they're available to do so."

Nike officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Obama is slated to make a major pitch on Friday for the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, at Nike, a venue that has sparked curiosity, since the company produces its famous sneakers in lower-cost contract factories in Asia.

White House officials have declined to say why they chose to highlight the company among Oregon exporters.

Obama's push to pass "fast-track" trade legislation, which would enable him to finalize the TPP deal, faces resistance from fellow Democrats who worry it could push U.S. jobs overseas where labor is cheaper.   Continued...