Congressman Mark S. Critz (PA-12) welcomed today's decision by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to formally adopt a procurement policy requiring that ceremonial uniforms be made in the United States. This new policy would impact uniforms for the Olympics, Paralympics and Pan-American Games.
"I applaud today's decision by the United States Olympic Committee to require that future uniforms worn by our Olympic and Paralympic athletes be made in America," said Congressman Critz. "Olympians symbolize our pride for America and these hard-working, dedicated athletes deserve to wear a uniform made by the same hard-working and dedicated Americans in our nation's textile and apparel industry. This decision will also support American manufacturing jobs, a win-win for everyone involved."
Earlier this month, Congressman Critz joined with other Members of Congress in sending a letter to U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) Chairman Lawrence Probst expressing outrage that the official uniforms of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams for the London Olympics were manufactured in China.
"At a time when so many Americans are still searching for work, it is offensive that the USOC would not support our workers and their families by manufacturing the uniform here," wrote Congressman Critz and other lawmakers. "The mission of the USOC is to "preserve the Olympic ideals and inspire all Americans.' These ideals were violated when the manufacture of the Team USA uniform was outsourced."
The USOC drafted and adopted a new Team USA uniform policy that states:
The USOC policy for all future agreements with respect to uniforms to be worn by athletes during parade ceremonies that are part of the Olympic, Paralympic, and Pan-American Games:
All uniforms provided by sponsors, partners, licensees, or suppliers for parade ceremonies shall be "Made in the USA" as defined by the standards of the Federal Trade Commission, with the following exception allowing for a deviation from the policy:
Obtaining such parade ceremony uniforms would be in violation of U.S. law or would not comply with any applicable trade agreements or treaties to which the United States is a party;
Essential materials or parts needed to produce parade ceremony uniforms are not available in the United States;
Obtaining such parade ceremony uniforms would cause undue delay or create material financial detriment to the U.S. Olympic Committee;
It would violate IOC, Local Organizing Committee or host country laws, rules or regulations to adhere to the policy for the particular event.
If the U.S. Olympic Committee cannot obtain parade ceremony uniforms in conformance with this policy, it shall make publicly available information explaining the reasons why it cannot do so.
As a part of its Quadrennial Report to Congress, the U.S. Olympic Committee shall include an assessment of its performance under the policy, providing justifications on any instances where it has had to diverge from the policy, as well as any changes it has made to the policy.
The USOC also committed to not changing the policy without first consulting with Congress, including the relevant Committees of Jurisdiction in the Senate and the House.