1992 Report: Where Are Wal-Mart's "Made in the USA" Clothes Really Made?

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NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw/Brian Ross/Bob Kur
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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In 1992, NBC News investigative reporter Brian Ross finds clothes for Wal-Mart are made not "in the USA," but in Bangladesh, by children as young as 10. Wal-Mart apologizes for false advertising.



"1992 Report: Where Are Wal-Mart's "Made in the USA" Clothes Really Made?" Brian Ross, Bob Kur, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 22 Dec. 1992. NBC Learn. Web. 17 January 2015.


Ross, B. (Reporter), & Kur, B. (Reporter), & Brokaw, T. (Anchor). (1992, December 22). 1992 Report: Where Are Wal-Mart's "Made in the USA" Clothes Really Made? [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=46414


"1992 Report: Where Are Wal-Mart's "Made in the USA" Clothes Really Made?" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 12/22/1992. Accessed Sat Jan 17 2015 from NBC Learn: https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=46414


1992 Report: Where Are Wal-Mart's "Made in the USA" Clothes Really Made?

TOM BROKAW, anchor:

Another of America's biggest retailers, of course, is Wal-Mart, founded

by the late Sam Walton. Wal-Mart takes pride in selling merchandise made

in the USA. But is it? NBC's Brian Ross has taken a look beyond the

label and the image that Wal-Mart displays. Brian, what's the latest?

BRIAN ROSS reporting:

Tom, on Dateline NBC tonight, the results of a two-month investigation

into Wal-Mart and its campaign to buy American whenever it can. We

started our investigation by simply going shopping at Wal-Mart, taking

along a hidden camera.

Now this says right here `Made in the USA.' In stores full of American

flags and `Made in the USA' signs, we found a lot of foreign-made

clothes. Made in Korea, made in China, made in Korea, made in China.

Nothing here is made in the USA. In the children's section, under a sign

`Made in the USA,' winter jackets made in Bangladesh.

Do you do a lot of business in Bangladesh?

Mr. DAVID GLASS (Wal-Mart Chief Executive Officer): Not a lot.

ROSS: We were told that in Bangladesh on a regular basis, children, young

children, are employed to make clothes for you, for others.

Mr. GLASS: To my knowledge, we don't buy from any vendor that uses child


ROSS: But that is not what we found when we went to Bangladesh just last

month. We posed as American buyers and we were as warmly welcomed as the

people from Wal-Mart, who, we were told, have been coming here for more

than a year. What we saw was three floors full of children, some as

young as nine and 10, making clothes for Wal-Mart. At this factory, the

manager assured us the workers just look young because they are

malnourished adults; apparently the same assurances Wal-Mart has been

willing to accept.

How can you believe that given what we've showed you?

Mr. GLASS: Why should I not believe that?

ROSS: The pictures of those young children don't contradict the

assurances you received from an employer or a boss in Bangladesh?

Mr. GLASS: The pictures you showed me mean nothing to me. I--I'm not

sure where they were or who they were, you know. Could have been of

anything; I'm not sure.

ROSS: I'm telling you they're not of anything. They're of the Sharaka

factory of children making Wal-Mart clothing.

Mr. GLASS: I--I'm comfortable with what we have done.

ROSS: We found other American stores also having their clothes made in

some of those same factories, but none of them waves the flag like

Wal-Mart, claiming to buy American whenever it can. Tom:

BROKAW: Thank you, Brian.


BOB KUR, anchor:

The president of Wal-Mart has apologized for signs in some stores that

falsely identify clothes made overseas as American-made. The apology

came a few hours before Dateline NBC reported that Wal-Mart has been

boosting its stocks of imported merchandise, despite its buy-America

campaign. However, Wal-Mart denies that much of the merchandise is

produced in child labor sweatshops in Bangladesh.


--Excerpt from “Wal-Mart’s Standards from Suppliers” – January 2009


To read Wal-Mart’s policy statement regarding suppliers and subcontractors in its entirety, go to walmartstores.com