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Public Statements

Letter to U.S. Olympic Committee and the Ralph Lauren Corporation

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Yesterday, Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-17) sent letters to both the U.S. Olympic Committee and to the Ralph Lauren Corporation expressing his disappointment that once again the Olympic uniforms worn by our athletes will be manufactured in China. The Congressman suggested that if the U.S. Olympic Committee is not willing to act, he will join with his Congressional colleagues to seek legislation to remedy the situation.

Congressman Ryan commented on the two letters he sent by stating:

"I find it hard to believe that the Ralph Lauren Corporation has decided that clothing for our country's finest athletes will not be made by American workers--and that the U.S. Olympic Committee has remained silent on the subject. This is first and foremost about putting Americans back to work--but it is more than that. Our U.S. Olympic team is made in America--their uniforms should be too.

The text of the letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee follows:

July 12, 2012

Scott Blackmun

Chief Executive Officer

United States Olympic Committee

27 South Tejon
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Dear Mr. Blackmun:

I am writing today to express my extreme disappointment with the United States Olympic Committee for again allowing Ralph Lauren to manufacture the United States' 2012 Olympic uniforms in China rather than employ U.S. workers to make the uniforms domestically. Ralph Lauren also manufactured the U.S. Olympic uniforms for the 2008 Olympics in China. I believe the U.S. Olympic Committee should be ashamed for repeatedly allowing the official manufacturer of uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team to make those uniforms overseas.

In this economic climate, it is important to promote and advance American designers and American manufacturers. It is an insult to American workers that the U.S. Olympic Committee and Ralph Lauren have instead chosen Chinese factories to develop these outfits. In the future, there must an agreement between the U.S. Olympic Committee and official uniform designers that all the U.S. Olympic uniforms be made in American factories by American workers. If the U.S. Olympic Committee can't be shamed into doing this, I will work with my colleagues to pursue legislation that would mandate such an agreement.

As families gather to watch the Opening Ceremony in 2012, they will see men and women athletes who have achieved great success and represent the values of America. They should also see uniforms with "Made in America" labels.

I look forward to hearing from the U.S. Olympic Committee about future agreements regarding uniforms. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact Anne Sokolov in my Washington, DC office at 202-225-5261.

Sincerely,

Tim Ryan

Member of Congress

The text of the letter to the Ralph Lauren Corporation follows:

July 12, 2012

Ralph Lauren

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Ralph Lauren Corporation

650 Madison Ave.

New York, NY 10022

Dear Mr. Lauren:

I am writing today to express my extreme disappointment with Ralph Lauren again manufacturing the United States' 2012 Olympic uniforms in China. Your company should be ashamed for manufacturing their 2008 and 2012 Olympic uniforms overseas.

In this economic climate, it is important to promote and advance American designers and American manufacturers. It is an insult to American workers that the U.S. Olympic Committee and Ralph Lauren have instead allowed foreign factories to develop these outfits. I urge Ralph Lauren to manufacture all future U.S. Olympic uniform replicas and designs in American factories by American workers. Since your company will make a good deal of money from selling Olympics-related clothing to the general public, I would hope Ralph Lauren would at least have the decency to allow American workers to make these replicas.

As families gather to watch the Opening Ceremony in 2012, they will see men and women athletes who have achieved great success and represent the values of America. They should also see uniforms with "Made in America" labels.

I look forward to hearing from you about your company's future plans to develop their clothing in the United States. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact Anne Sokolov in my Washington, DC office at 202-225-5261.

Sincerely,

Tim Ryan

Member of Congress


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