Two Maine legislators are scheduled to participate in free trade talks this weekend that would allow the shoe company New Balance to keep around 900 manufacturing jobs in the state, according to the Bangor Daily News.
Reps. Sharon Treat, D-Hallowell, and Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, are set to attend part of the 10-day Virginia conference centered around the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
The pact including the U.S. and eight other countries involves negotiations with participating Vietnam, which has been pushing for the removal of a U.S. tariff on athletic footwear that New Balance says is necessary to keeping its domestic manufacturing operations financially viable.
The company has factories in Norridgewock, Norway, Skowhegan and two more in Massachusetts. The legislators told the BDN they plan to deliver presentations during trade talks Sunday and will also staff a table at the event where they will show a video about the economic impact of the New Balance operations in Skowhegan and Somerset County.
The talks are set to begin Thursday and will continue for 10 days.