The bill comes on the heels of last week’s revelation that the 2012 team outfits provided by Ralph Lauren for the opening and closing ceremonies were made in China. Some lawmakers, including Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) demanded that the Chinese-made uniforms be burned.
H.R. 6123 would ensure that American workers make the uniforms and equipment that the USOC provides to American athletes wherever possible.
The U.S. Olympic Committee is required every four years to report to Congress on its operations, receipts and expenditures as a federally chartered nonprofit corporation. The legislation will also require the committee to report on where the goods it provides for athletes are manufactured and the steps it has taken to ensure the goods are made in the United States.
Lipinski said in a news statement that the last thing the USOC should be doing is contributing to the off-shoring of American jobs.
“When I heard that our Olympic athletes would be wearing uniforms that were made in China for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, I was outraged,” Lipinski said. “The Olympics is a showcase for the best that a country has to offer to the world. But during the most watched events of the games our athletes will be showcasing Chinese-made uniforms instead of uniforms made by American workers. What was the U.S. Olympic Committee thinking? They certainly didn’t have American workers in mind.”
Lipinski and Jones also joined together to introduce House Resolution 731, urging the USOC to “strive to ensure that all of the clothing and equipment purchased for the United States Olympic athletes is made in America."
American Apparel, the made-in-the-USA clothing manufacturer, says it can have new U.S. uniforms in London in seven days.