Bloomberg says it’s too soon to judge Walmart
Asked about Walmart's Mexican bribery scandal, and its potential impact on the company's longstanding efforts to open an outlet in New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg this afternoon said it's too soon to judge.
"I have no idea what Walmart did in Mexico, whether any of that stuff’s true or not," said the mayor, following a press conference about a new applied science campus in Brooklyn. "We’ll have to see. There’s one story in the paper."
The story in question, by the New York Times' David Barstow, offers a very detailed recounting of Walmart's efforts to hide the routine use of bribes in Mexico.
Today, a reporter asked Bloomberg his thoughts, as a Walmart "supporter."
“No, I’ve not been a big supporter of Walmart," said the mayor. "I’ve been a big supporter of government not telling people whether they can do business here. I think you let the market decide whether people want jobs or not, whether people want to buy products at given price ranges for different types, and I think that that’s exactly what this is all about. I have no idea what Walmart did in Mexico, whether any of that stuff’s true or not. We’ll have to see. There’s one story in the paper."
Walmart has been trying to open a store in New York City for years now. The mayor said he's still fine with that.
"Walmart has the right to come here and open a store anytime they want," he said. "And if they don’t need a land-use change, they don’t have to consult with anybody, and that’s the way it should be. And then you don’t have to work there or patronize them. Or you can apply for a job and give them your business. Totally up to you. That’s what it’s all about."