Under Armour founder Kevin Plank was one of the first to sit down with Donald Trump on what the president called the official “Day One” of his presidency.
Trump summoned Plank, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Lockheed Martin’s Marilyn Hewson and about 10 other executives to Washington this morning for a breakfast in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, according to the AP. He tweeted this morning that he called the meeting to “discuss manufacturing in America.”
Busy week planned with a heavy focus on jobs and national security. Top executives coming in at 9:00 A.M. to talk manufacturing in America.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2017
Once gathered, Trump reportedly asked the company leaders to keep their businesses based on U.S. soil. “All you have to do is stay,” he said. “Don’t leave. Don’t fire your people in the United States.”
The president also said companies that do so will be rewarded with “advantages” while those who move jobs to other countries with cheaper labor will face a “substantial border tax” when shipping goods into the United States.
Plank’s South Baltimore-based company has grown rapidly in the last several years, averaging 23 percent annual growth from 2012 through 2015 (the latest full year with available data on Under Armour’s website). The company nearly reached $5 billion in revenue last year and has set a mark to reach $7.5 billion in annual revenue by the end of 2018.
Amid its rapid growth, the Baltimore-based firm has become more global, opening offices in South America, Europe and Asia, as well as in a handful of U.S. cities and Toronto. Under Armour’s 2016 shareholder’s report stated that more than three-fifths of its products were manufactured in China, Jordan, Vietnam and Indonesia in all of 2015.
However, Plank has publicly championed returning jobs to U.S. soil. He told CNBC earlier this month, “we should be bringing jobs back, not just to America, but tightening supply chains all over the world.” He added, “We have the ability to do it better. It’s time for all of us to make an investment.”
That kind of talk is music to President Trump’s ears.
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