US: Lawmakers outraged by China-made Olympic outfits
US lawmakers have hit back at reports that Olympic uniforms designed by Ralph Lauren Corp for American athletes were allegedly manufactured in China.
In a press conference yesterday (12 July), Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the country takes pride in the Olympics but athletes "should be wearing uniforms that are made in America".
Bernie Sanders, US Independent Senator for Vermont, and Steve Israel, democrat representative for New York, criticised the US Olympic Committee's decision to dress American athletes in Chinese made uniforms.
"At a time when millions of Americans are unemployed, there is no reason why US Olympic uniforms are not being manufactured in the US. This action on the part of the US Olympic Committee is symbolic of a disastrous trade policy which has cost us millions of decent-paying jobs and must be changed," Sanders said.
Meanwhile, Israel branded the situation as "disgraceful", adding that Americans should be supporting home-made goods.
"We should be promoting American-made goods and supporting our domestic manufacturers and labourers. I urge the US Olympic Committee to reconsider their decision," Israel added.
Fellow Democrat and Senator for New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, agreed with Israel. "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."
In addition, Sherrod Brown, Senator for Ohio, recognised the risk competition from China poses to American manufacturers. "If awards were given out for breaking trade laws, China would win the gold medal. The US Olympic Committee's use of Chinese-made apparel is particularly egregious due to the ongoing and unfair competition that China poses to American manufacturers."
However, on twitter, US Olympic Committee spokesperson Patrick Sandusky said: "All this talk about Olympic uniforms made in China is nonsense. Polo RL is an American company that supports American athletes."
Ralph Lauren declined to comment when contacted by just-style today.
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