Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced that the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and Ralph Lauren have pledged to manufacture the ceremonial uniforms for the 2014 Olympic Games in the United States. Blumenthal also called on the USOC to hold a domestic sourcing summit, which would include Connecticut manufacturing companies such as the Waterbury Button Company. The Connecticut button company has been manufacturing brass buttons for the military, sports clothing, and the fashion industry for 200 years.
After learning that the U.S. Olympic team's uniforms for the 2012 opening ceremonies were manufactured abroad, Blumenthal joined Senators Menendez (D-N.J.), Brown (D-Ohio), Casey (D-Pa.), and Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on a letter to Scott Blackmun, CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee, which expressed their request that uniforms made for the 2014 Olympic Games be manufactured in the United States.
"Use of American-made equipment and apparel by our Olympic athletes is critically important both symbolically and practically. Our legislation would require that our Olympians be outfitted and equipped with products made in America," Blumenthal said. "I am glad that Ralph Lauren has agreed that the apparel made by that company for the 2014 Olympians will be made in the United States, but I have also urged that there be a sourcing summit so that equipment and apparel manufacturers in this country will be given an opportunity to showcase their products and seek contracts to sell them for use at the 2014 Olympics. I am proud to support legislation to require the use of American manufactured apparel for the uniforms worn by our Olympians in 2014."
This letter was one in a series of steps Blumenthal has taken to support American manufacturing. Earlier this month, Blumenthal cosponsored the Bring Jobs Home Act (S. 3364), a bill that ends a tax giveaway to companies that ship jobs overseas, and provides a tax cut for American businesses that move overseas jobs and business activity back to America. Blumenthal is also a recent cosponsor of the Team USA Made in America Act (S. 3387), which requires that ceremonial uniforms for U.S. Olympians be manufactured in the United States similar to the requirement that all U.S. military uniforms be manufactured in the United States.