Update: Sen. Casey has announced that he will introduce the “Team USA Made in America Act of 2012” next week, along with five other Senators: Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
The bill would require the U.S. Olympic Committee – a federally chartered nonprofit group – to adopt a policy requiring ceremonial uniforms be sewn or assembled in America.
“The U.S. Olympic Committee was 100% wrong to outsource the manufacturing of U.S. uniforms for the opening ceremony to China,” Senator Casey said. “This measure will help ensure that moving forward, work on our Olympic uniforms will help create jobs in America and not China.”
According to a press release, the law would require “ceremonial uniforms for U.S. Olympians be sewn or assembled in the United States with fabrics formed and cut in the United States or components knit to shape from yarns wholly formed in the United States. If the USOC can’t meet the procurement requirement, they would have to provide a detailed justification for sourcing from overseas.”
One more voice, that of Sen. Bob Casey, has joined the outcry against the U.S. Olympic Committee’s choice of uniforms made in China.
Casey wrote a letter to the committee CEO, Scott Blackmun, asking that the committee support American manufacturing by committing to purchase apparel domestically in the future, as reported by The Morning Call.
In the letter, Casey wrote: “The decision to produce this apparel outside of the U.S. is particularly troubling given that many Americans are still without work. Manufacturing the official apparel in the United States would have directly assisted American textile workers.”
Casey went on to say that outsourcing the production of the uniforms was “disgraceful,” and asked the committee to ensure all merchandise and apparel for Team USA be produced in the United States from now on.
The move to outsource was made by Team USA financial supporter and uniform designer, Ralph Lauren.
But the committee defended their actions by pointing out the fact that Team USA is one of the world’s only privately funded Olympic teams.
“We’re proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company, and excited to watch America’s finest athletes compete at the upcoming Games in London,” he said.
Regardless of where the team’s funds come from, however, Casey said he finds the committee’s decision inexcusable.
However, many other aspects of Team USA deal with foreign-made products.
Nike, a company that has come under fire in the past for outsourcing labor, has made many of the competition uniforms for the U.S. and outfits for the medal stand.
In addition, Team USA is also sponsored by several foreign companies, including Samsung, Atos and BMW.