U.S. Olympics Uniforms Were Made in China, and Harry Reid Is Mad

The revelation that the U.S. Olympic team's uniforms were manufactured in China has prompted an outpouring of patriotic rage from U.S. politicians.

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Ralph Lauren / Associated Press

D.C. Lawmakers are angry to learn that the U.S. Olympic team's uniforms, designed by Ralph Lauren, were manufactured in China

Ralph Lauren publicized its designs for the U.S. Olympic team’s opening ceremonies uniforms yesterday. They feature smart berets, neckties, and double-breasted blazers in a sailor-inspired blue-and-white ensemble with red accents. Countless online outlets have mocked them for their aura of preppy elitism and the shameless self-promotion of the oversized Ralph Lauren logo on each blazer.

But U.S. lawmakers have a much bigger problem with the uniforms: every single item of clothing was made in China.

“I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told ABC News. “If they have to wear nothing but a symbol that says USA on it, painted by hand, that is what they should wear.”

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Reid’s frustration is echoed by many other lawmakers who are offended that the uniforms won’t benefit the American manufacturing sector. Two New York Congress members, Rep. Steve Israel and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, wrote a letter this morning asking that all U.S. uniforms be American-made in future years.

Some have called for more immediate steps. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio has asked the Olympic Committee to immediately find a domestic manufacturer to remake the team’s uniforms. Brown is the sponsor of some pending legislation that would strengthen “Buy America” requirements for items paid for by federal tax dollars. And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has also stated that she believes the Olympic team should wear American-made uniforms.

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The U.S. Olympic Committee defended the uniforms in a statement to ABCNews . “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,” the statement said.

It’s not the first time that the ‘Made in China’ issue has come up: in fact, the exact same thing happened four years ago, when Ralph Lauren also created the 2008 Olympic team’s uniforms — which were also manufactured in China.

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32 comments
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nannycrochet
nannycrochet

If we even tried to "By American" now, we would all be naked and starving. When Nixon opened the gates to China I am sure he had NO idea that we would have sunk this low in our manufacturing position.

Just TRY and find something "Made in the U.S.A". Not likely to be found. IF we want our country back then we had better start rebuilding infrastructure and factories.

There is nothing wrong with working in a factory for a liveable wage. Biggest problem with that has ALWAYS BEEN the "owners" wanting ore, more,MORE!!! THAT"S the reason we needed unions in the first place.Living wages.

Now the rich keep their monies closer, keep breaking the backs of Unions amp; expect everyone (other than their own "kind", of course) to cowtow amp; say "yes massa" to working for peanuts. Taking us in the wrong direction for sure. It may take us a long time to get back where we were, but it's better than letting the 1% keep getting away with "job creation" (LOL).

Take back our manufacturing, take back our steel mills, take back our pride.

"Made in the U.S.A." is NOT going backwards.It's OUR national RIGHT!!

James Tan
James Tan

Isn't Olympics about fostering better global ties with other countries, what's with all these mongering about burning Chinese made products, the Chinese did buy Apple's Ipads right? Despite being made in china, the cost of the products vs the sales price of the product, the premium is used to pay all those working for Apple and at a huge profit, correct me if i am wrong. Stop being so narrow minded, stop being played by the politician and fuel their own personal agenda.

Laura Saukstelis
Laura Saukstelis

It is NEVER too late.  I say, dump Ralph Lauren.  Sure there may be a contract, but with enough negative media responce along with BOYCOTTING ALL things Ralph Lauren...Mr Lauren may find dissolving the contract as amends.  There is NO need for OFFICIALLY designed uniforms which costs are an outragous greedy betrayal.  The USA has an iconic fashion statement known around the world.  A white 100% cotton grown in USA tee-shirt with flag as pocket patch, blue 100% cotton grown in USA jeans, and red leather cowboy boots and/or red high top gym shoes.  An all iconic American image.  Surely this country can manage to find persons able amp; willing to fill such an order IN the USA within a matter of hours.  It is NEVER too late.

Bikash Chakravarty
Bikash Chakravarty

Losing out to Asia in business competition is the order of the day,brace up for more losses in years to come.But please don't cry, be sporting.It's all part of the game.

PhillyJimi
PhillyJimi

F...ing politicians jumping on the softball issues!  Any chance they get to spout off about some thing like this they can't help themselves.   Why would the Olympic uniforms be any different the the other 99% of clothing that is not made in the US?  The  Olympic teams are privately funded and they can buy whatever they want from whoever they want.  If the uniforms were purchased with public funds then the politicians would have a say in it. 

That said it is in poor taste that the uniforms were not made in America.  I think there would of been plenty of American companies more then willing to cut a good deal for the honor of making the uniforms for our athletes.   I find the RL logo to actually be more offensive then where they are made.  Can't we tone down the commercialism to allow the athletes not to be a billboard for just a little while? 

a3llr4u2
a3llr4u2

I don't care where it was made; it's crappy self-aggrandizement for Ralph Lauren - period!  These look straight out of 1960! Borrrrrrring....

alitefoot1
alitefoot1

 

Hmm, who pays Reid's salary and where are his clothes made?

What makes him think that he should have any say in where the team's uniforms

are made? Did he pay for them?

Charmaine Hurst
Charmaine Hurst

Here is the other thing to know about Ralph Lauren clothing.Go to a outlet store or the the main high end fashion Ralph Lauren store look inside for the tag.What does it say where it is made? In China! Because it is sad that a lot of fashion designers get their clothing made in China because the workers work for very low wages.That is cheap labor and the conditions made be bad too. Just like the case with the Iphones.That is inturn you will have irregular clothing that are slight imperfect then they are sold to the outlet stores for a cheaper price.They get a lot of people with that.Then you still wonder "is it real designer or knock offs that are made in China? America is sucked into that so bad.This his to stop! We have to start making our own clothing, phones tooth brushes,tvs etc,etc!

Steve Ma
Steve Ma

I think Sen. Reid's comments are over the top and hateful. I understand pride in one's own nation, and I understand the value of buying local, but do we really need to burn a product because it was made somewhere else? We live in a world community. We buy things from other places sometimes. Should we burn all of the iphones the olympians use because they were made in China too? And what if they were made in Sweeden? Or Ghana? Would he be as upset? Probably not. This is hateful toward China. And Harry Reid is not some hothead media blowhard. He is the Senate Majority Leader. One of the most powerful figures in the Democratic party. What's he going to say when Chinese heads of state come to visit? This is really bad diplomacy and this type of China bashing perpetuates bias and racism against people of Chinese descent in the US.

AnonWho
AnonWho

You conveyed my thoughts exactly. I understand the value of buying local too, but his comments smack of hatred and step over the threshold of rationality.

Mark Shapiro
Mark Shapiro

wonder if the uniforms of the US troops killing people in a list of countries as long as your arm are wearing uniforms made in China too?

Len Aldis
Len Aldis

Soon the US and other teams will arrive here in UK and the US team will be staying and training just a half mile away from me, I shall look forward to welsoming them and all the athletes and wish them well in their games, whatever garments they wear.

Lets get back to the spirit of the Olympics and forget about national flags, anthems etc etc

Rcanderson
Rcanderson

I wonder how much "American Spirit" these uniforms will give our athletes now that they know their uniforms are from China?

José Gabriel Rujano
José Gabriel Rujano

Oh please... Stop your whining. I mean ok, maybe whoever made this decision at the US IOC got this one wrong. But getting her head on a pike and fueling this anti-the rest of the world sentiment that's continuously growing over there is just unjustified and it's not gonna get you anywhere.

American politicians are making you guys look desperate from an outsiders point of view. All the name calling and finger pointing isn't looking too slick I say.

This is obviously a systemic problem aka something wrong with the way things have been done for some time over there. 

You guys got smart people over there. Just chill out for a sec and start figuring out how to dig yourselves out of this. There's no instant fix, no magic pill. 

The sooner the US realizes that the worldwide economic situation is one that we''ll either sink or swim through together, the better.

The time where the great America lead the way for the rest of the world is over guys. 

It probably felt nice for a while but times have changed. 

Current economic, banking and financial policies and methods have to be reevaluated and rewritten if necessary. 

I truly believe that throwing money at  and "stimulating the economy" is just a quick fix that maybe makes the Samp;P, Nasdaq, and Dow Jones numbers look a little bit nicer for a couple of weeks, but ultimately fails in getting you all back to a healthy economic status. 

Mitt Romney's "Comeback Team" of war mongering and star striped cowboys ain't gonna do the trick that's for sure. 

Stop pouring about a third of your national budget into defense and maybe put it somewhere else. That's just something from the top of my head that somehow feels logical.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall... So I'm hoping for everyone's sake. 

That you guys get your act together, and fast!

loup407
loup407

I'd bet that if you looked at Opening Ceremony uniforms for the last several Olympics, most were made in China. Despite all of the gnashing of teeth, it would be difficult to get these uniforms made in the US. Many are custom sized, and many teams weren't selected until recently. There aren't that many companies is the US that could handle that volume in a short time frame. If any.

Charmaine Hurst
Charmaine Hurst

Well,America knows every 4 years there will be the Oylmpics and every 2 years is the Winter! Right then Ralph Lauren and Even Tommy Hill Filger and any other American fashion design should get their plans in designing uniforms for the athletes! That way it would be a sure thing to get American made  for the athletes.I am sure there are thousands of people in the USA that knows how to sew.That could be jobs for thousands of people that can sew! Open up those old factores or even better open up the schools that were closed down and get some power Singer machines up and running for seamtress to have a place to sew for any event that come our way! I know we could get those uniforms ready for any Oylmpics! No excuse!

Phil Woodson
Phil Woodson

If DC Lawmakers are upset - then DC Lawmakers should be funding the Olympians....

Epik Hafsah ♠
Epik Hafsah ♠

wow, it's just clothes, why make such a big deal? It's the athletes performance in the actual event that really matters and these people are freaking out over clothes. How shallow. Plus I don't think they're very ugly either (kinda nice tbh), so why burn them? *smh*

rory2012
rory2012

What is the economic logic for the US not using Chinese products? Instead of complaining,why don't US try more effort to sell more US product to the Chinese.Beside the Boeing airplane and farm produces what else you sell.In fact the airplane industry is looking grim as well once China got its engine development right.

smooth edward
smooth edward

You obviously don’t keep up with the news. China slaps all kinds of tariffs on U.S. goods in order to protect its domestic industries, and limits quantities of some items as well. Just other day Obama Administration filed complaints with the trade organization that governs these things. Why can’t you understand that a country should send its athletes to the olympics in clothing made in their own country? I do agree the outfits are ugly. The textile industry in this country is practically dead so symbolically it would be important to have a made in the USA label in the clothing. 

alexshi
alexshi

it's cheaper to manufacture a lot of things in China, do you think RL and other companies are so stupid that it's much more lucrative to produce things at home rather than at China? We Chinese exhausted all our resources and labor forces just to learn some back-breaking money, and those companies still get the lion's share, we do not blame this on others, we choose this way, but if so we have incurred to much complaint saying that we have snatched the job opportunities which would have stayed at US, if so , why don't you take them back? 

fuzzback
fuzzback

Ralph Lauren is an excellent example of what U.S. corporations have done to the U.S. 

Seemed so smart to outsource the labor while not reducing prices accordingly.  Made ol' Ralph a lot richer, I'm sure.  But in the long run we cheated ourselves even as we enriched a communist country.

Americans should be outraged about this story.

NickRuark
NickRuark

 Whomever

it was at the U.S. Olympic Committee responsible for ordering uniforms

made in China rather than in America should be replaced. A spokeswoman

for Ralph Lauren, the vendor, wasn’t immediately available for comment.

mokinfui
mokinfui

Soetoro allowed this outsourcing.  Wow.

slz94580
slz94580

MAkes you want to go out and buy 

Ralph Lauren fashions, knowing that expensive design was made in China? If I had the money to purchase his expensive preppy clothes I wouldn't because I don't want my $$$ spent on Chinese made clothes.

John Forsthoffer
John Forsthoffer

EVERYTHING is made in China. Soon, babies will be manufactured in China. Everyone chose cheap over "made in the U.S.A." Not China's fault.