Today, Rep. Pete Stark (CA-13) and Rep. Michael Michaud (ME-2), led a bipartisan coalition of 59 Members of Congress in calling on the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) to ensure that Team USA's uniforms are made in the United States, not in factories overseas. The American company Ralph Lauren designed Team USA's uniforms for the 2012 Summer Olympics, yet had them manufactured in China.
The letter is supported by the AFL-CIO and the National Council of Textile Organizations and represents the largest groundswell of opposition to the USOC policy to date.
Rep. Stark: "We don't outsource the athletes who represent the United States in the Olympics and we shouldn't outsource the manufacturing of Team USA's uniforms. The fact that our American uniforms were made in China is a glaring reminder that we've gotten away from a core value: our country's success is built on the innovation and industriousness of the American worker. When we deviate from that, we fail. That is why we're calling on the U.S. Olympic Committee to reflect these values and ensure that Team USA's uniforms are made in America."
Rep. Michaud: "We need to see more "made in America' again, and our athletes' uniforms are a perfect place to start. The outsourcing of these uniforms was a mistake that shouldn't be repeated. Our athletes are a source of national pride for the United States and so too should be the work that goes into making the uniforms they wear."
Cass Johnson, President of the National Council of Textile Organizations: "Congress has a golden opportunity to send a message to the U.S. Olympic Committee that, like our great Olympic athletes, U.S. workers deserve their support as well. If the USOC takes the time, they will find U.S. textile workers standing ready and able to supply all textile products the Committee needs."