American Patriotism . . . Made in China?
July 13, 2012 3:25 pm
ABC News broke the story on Wednesday that the U.S. Olympic team’s opening ceremony uniforms were made in China. While a spokesperson for Ralph Lauren, the maker of the uniforms, was not immediately available for comment, the U.S. Olympic committee responded, “[u]nlike most Olympic teams around the world, 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.” Apparently, “iconic American company” does not equal made in America.
Responses were swift. Angered by the clothing company’s decision to outsource the production of Olympic ceremonial uniforms, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said “they should take all the outfits, put them in a big pile and burn them up and start over.” Furthermore, “we have people in the textile industry who are desperate for jobs.” By one account, the production of the Olympic uniforms would bring $1 billion dollars into the U.S. economy, easing the declining domestic textile and apparel manufacturing industry.
Meanwhile, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Steve Israel sent a letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee yesterday urging them to produce uniforms for Team USA for all future Olympics that are made by American workers. Senator Gillibrand said: “When America’s best athletes are representing our country on the world stage, we should be representing the best of American-made goods. The pride of our Olympic athletics goes hand in hand with the pride of American innovation and manufacturing. We shouldn’t be going to the world stage with anything less. From head to toe, Team USA must be made in America.”
Image from here