Nike: Could create 10,000 US jobs with trade pact

Nike said Friday the company could bring thousands of jobs back to the U.S. if an Asian-Pacific trade agreement is approved.

The Beaverton, Oregon-based athletic clothing and shoe company said the Trans-Pacific Partnership would help it create 10,000 jobs in manufacturing and engineering in the United States over 10 years.

"We expect that will actually create more like 40,000 jobs when you look at suppliers, other manufacturers who will be involved, and partners, engineers, construction jobs," CEO Mark Parker said in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "So we think that this footprint will actually grow to a much larger number."

Parker was interviewed before President Barack Obama visited Nike headquarters on Friday to press his argument that the trade agreement can create jobs at home, counter China's economic influence abroad and raise labor and environmental standards by U.S. trading partners.

Mainstream Republicans back the plan, but Democrats have expressed concern about a potential loss of U.S. jobs if trade barriers in the region are lowered.

"Some of my dearest friends are wrong. They're just wrong," Obama said during his visit.

Chief Executive Officer and president of Nike Mark Parker.
Lluis Gene | AFP | Getty Images
Chief Executive Officer and president of Nike Mark Parker.

The 12-nation trade pact would help innovation, which in turn will drive manufacturing in the United States and create products suited to the individual taste of customers, said Parker, whose company has Nike has 1.01 million workers in contract factories over the world.

"We expect to push our customization-personalization agenda, give the customer more choice," he said.

Parker told CNBC that although Nike wasn't in the business of making wearables anymore, the company continues to build digital connections with consumers. For instance, the app Nike + Running is available on the Apple Watch.

"We are continuing to develop apps and experiences so we are working with Apple and other partners as well," he said.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is a member of Nike's board of directors.

For the third quarter of 2015, Nike reported revenues of $7.5 billion, up 7 percent when taking into account currency changes.

"We feel really good about where we are from a revenue standpoint," Parker said. "We had a great last quarter. We expect that momentum will continue."

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On the retention of top athletes, such as Stephen Curry, Parker said the company was happy to see athletes perform whether or not they are under Nike.

"We are very happy with the athletes that we have—the athletes, the teams," he said. "I think we are incredibly well represented."

Curry, who was awarded the 2014-2015 Kia NBA MVP, used to be under a contract with Nike before leaving forUnder Armour.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.