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Lawmakers Want ‘Made in China’ U.S. Olympic Uniforms Burned


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Lawmakers Want ‘Made in China’ U.S. Olympic Uniforms Burned

Sunlen Miller and John Parkinson  |  July 12, 2012  |

ap olympic uniform team usa jef 120710 wblog Lawmakers Want Made in China U.S. Olympic Uniforms Burned Lawmakers were outraged Thursday after an ABC World News report revealed that the U.S. Olympic team’s opening ceremony outfits are made in China. Some suggested making a bonfire with the outfits, which include berets and blazers.

“I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said when asked by ABC News today, “If they have to wear nothing but a singlet that says USA on it, painted by hand, that is what they should wear.”

Team USA will be marching into the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony wearing Ralph Lauren blazers and berets, much as they did four years ago when Lauren dressed them. ABC’s Sharyn Alfonsi reported Wednesday evening that every clothing item that the U.S. athletes will be wearing at the opening ceremony in London will carry an overseas label.

Reid said today that the U.S. Olympic committee should be “ashamed of themselves,” and “embarrassed,” that the items were made in China, especially with people in the textile industry in America who are looking for jobs.

The Congressional reaction on Capitol Hill today extended to both houses and both parties.

“You’d think they know better,” Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-OH., said in response to a question from ABC News today.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that since the Olympic athletes represent the very best in America they should be wearing uniforms made in America.

“They work so hard. They represent the very best, and they’re so excellent. It’s all so beautiful. And they should be wearing uniforms that are made in America.”

Already there is a movement on Capitol Hill to make changes so this does not happen again at future Olympic Games. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., wrote a letter Thursday morning to the chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Lawrence Probst, calling this revelation “shocking and deeply disappointing” and asking all U.S. team’s uniforms be made in America in the future.

“We are asking that the Committee and its Board of Directors take immediate steps to guarantee that this embarrassment does not happen again by voting that any future contracts for Olympic uniforms are made in America,” Gillibrand and Israel write in their letter, “This would ensure that U.S. Olympians are supporting American jobs. As American fans cheer for our Olympians, we should also be cheering for the American manufacturers and laborers reflected in the red, white and blue on their uniforms.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH., who has legislation pending in Congress to strengthen “Buy America” provisions for federal tax dollars also sent a letter to U.S. Olympic Committee today calling for the group to scrap this year’s uniforms and find a domestic manufacturer to remake them.

“The USOC holds its athletes to a high moral and ethical standard, and has a no tolerance policy for cheating or violating rules,” Sen. Brown writes in his letter to Chairman Probst, “But China continues to cheat when it comes to international trade. As we work to achieve a level playing field for American manufacturers and workers, the USOC should act immediately to find a domestic manufacturer for this year’s uniforms.”

Brown calls for the USOC to enact policies to ensure that America’s athletes wear only clothing that is Made-in-America in the next 2014 games.

ABC News reached out to Ralph Lauren and the U.S. Olympic Committee Wednesday and asked why American-made clothing had not been selected for the athletes. The committee responded with a statement: “The U.S. Olympic team is privately funded and we’re grateful for the support of our sponsors. We’re proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company.”


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3 Responses to “Lawmakers Want ‘Made in China’ U.S. Olympic Uniforms Burned”

  1. William Ryan says:

    I cannot believe the level of hypocrisy that many of these so called patriots exhibit. 20 years ago I petitioned strongly with the UAW for Buy American and got the door slammed in my face for doing so by the so called patriots who went out and voted with their dollars at Wal-Mart and many other Japanese auto makers brands…Today they want to put on a publicity act over a uniform made in China? This leaves me to think that most these so called patriotic protesters already own many goods from China and everywhere else as we all have bean sold down the river many years ago and also by our own government.Just look around you and see where all the products we use today are made. Its a no brainer and shows the level of greed and disconnect of many people who do not understand that if you do not support products made in our economy you will not have an economy…Many Americans cannot connect the dots or don’t care to connect the dots because it has not effected them,yet.

    • Tom T. says:

      Forget the uniforms. We need to burn the politicians (at the polls) who set up a system where the U.S. would have incentives to use Chinese uniforms. I agree, William Ryan, the hypocrisy is overwhelming in Washington D.C. and especially in the leadership of Congress who concentrate the policy on political nonsense instead of the real problems here in the United States.

      Tom T.

  2. Frank Shannon says:

    Do they want us to burn all Chinese products or just the ones in the news?

    The hypocrisy of Reid and Boehner is boundless. They complain about Chinese products and behind the scenes they have both blocked a solution - H.R. 639 - Reid in the 111th and Boehner now in the 112th Congress. Give me a break. How stupid do they think we are?

    These people are so disconnected from the public and reality I’m afraid there is no hope for true representation in either party.


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