MANILA, Philippines - Who better to dress Team USA for the upcoming London Olympics than all-American brand Ralph Lauren? The preppy uniforms, complete with blazers and berets in red, white, and blue may be patriotic… but there is one problem.
The labels read: “Made in China.”
It wasn’t long before the issue of whether or not the uniforms should be American-made soon made its way to Capitol Hill. Among those who spoke up against Ralph Lauren’s choice to have the uniforms made overseas were Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“They should be wearing uniforms made in America.” Pelosi said.
Reid, on the other hand, expressed his disappointment in a news conference. "I am so upset. I think the Olympic committee should be ashamed of themselves…We have people in America working in the textile industry who are desperate for jobs,"
American designer Nanette Lepore said that it was “absolutely” possible for the uniforms to have been made in the US.
According to Lepore, US manufacturers could even assemble the uniforms, currently retailing $1,473 to $1,945 a set, for less.
In response, the U.S. Olympic committee told ABC News that “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 issue comes in light of the recent declaration of the “Make it in America” initiative, which aims to help American businesses produce goods and create jobs in the US.
This isn’t the first time that Ralph Lauren received flak for having Team USA uniforms made in China. Reuters reported the same incident back in 2008.
What do you think? Should the US Olympic Team have their uniforms made in America? Share your thoughts on the comments section below. - Rappler.com
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