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Wal-Mart creates fund to back US manufacturing

Published on Jan 24, 2014 12:45 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, said on Thursday it has created a $10 million (S$12.7 million) fund to support manufacturing in the United States, and that one of its bicycle suppliers plans to start production in the U.S. this year.

Bill Simon, Wal-Mart's US president, said at the United States Conference of Mayors' winter meeting in Washington, DC, that Wal-Mart and its philanthropic arm, the Walmart Foundation, will provide the funds for the five-year program, offering grants to innovators in U.S. manufacturing.

The announcement was the latest in Wal-Mart's year-old push to boost U.S. manufacturing. It has vowed to buy an additional US$50 billion in US-made products over the next decade.

A number of the company's long-time suppliers are returning production to the United States, as rising wages in China and elsewhere have made offshore production less lucrative.

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