"I'm so upset, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid whined to reporters last week when asked to comment about the summer 2012 U.S. Olympic team’s Ralph Lauren-designed uniforms being manufactured in China. I think the Olympic Committee should be ashamed of themselves,"
"I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again… If they have to wear nothing but a symbol that says USA on it, painted by hand, that is what they should wear," he huffed.
Several other members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, are fuming about the decision of the Olympic committee allowing such treasonous activity while the American textile industry struggles with millions of U.S. workers desperate for jobs.
Six Democratic senators have said they plan to introduce legislation requiring the ceremonial uniforms be produced in the United States.
Ralph Lauren also is dressing the Olympic and Paralympic teams for the closing ceremony and providing casual clothes to be worn around the Olympic Village. Nike has made many of the competition uniforms for the U.S. and outfits for the medal stand.
The U.S. Olympic Committee has defended its decision to have Ralph Lauren Corp design the outfits and oversee the manufacturing process.
The outrage amounts to “nonsense” a USOC spokesman said in a statement. “Unlike most Olympic teams around the world, the U.S. Olympic Team is privately funded and we're grateful for the support of our sponsors We're proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company [that] financially supports our team -- An American company that supports American athletes.”
The uproar is "hypocritical" and "irresponsible," China's official news agency said Monday.
"The Olympics spirit is all about separating sports from politics, but these U.S. politicians are going too far and trying to force a political tag onto the uniforms," U.S. lawmakers should perhaps be banned from "wearing anything or using any product" that was made abroad. If there is anything that should be burned, it should really be the hypocrisy of the U.S. politics,"
"The reason this issue has stirred people up is because the words 'made-in-China' touch upon the most sensitive topic of the U.S. election - 'outsourcing'," the agency said, noting that the U.S team's uniforms have also been made abroad in previous years.
The Chinese are right this time. American politicians are hypocrites.
This controversy is all about pure political theater. Senator Reid and the other flag waiving congressional jingoists would probably have to go without wearing underpants if they got their wish that all products be manufactured in America. Wal-Mart, Costco and every other major retailer of clothing in the U.S. would have to go out of business.
What about the loss of all those jobs? What about the loss to American consumers who would be deprived of the benefits afforded by global trade?
Why shouldn’t Ralph Lauren do business with China if China can give them the best deal on the contract? What business is it of the politicians who contribute nothing but hot air to the process?
Americans are getting their share of the business. Ralph Lauren has indicated that it will produce Made-in-the-USA uniforms for the winter games in 2014. And Russia’s Olympic team is reportedly in talks with Los Angeles-based American Apparel for a deal to design its clothing for the 2014 games.
As it happens so often with politicians they are constantly complaining and wanting to do something about “problems” which don’t exist.
And money is literally no object with these politicians. Senator Reid would have all the China made Olympic uniforms piled up and “burned.” He would have the people who shelled out all the money for them “start all over again.”
What’s a few million dollars here and there when it comes to American jingoism Olympic style?