WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following news that the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) outsourced production of opening ceremony uniforms for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg announced they will introduce the “Team USA Made In America Act of 2012” next week. The legislation would require the USOC, a federally chartered non-profit entity, to adopt a procurement policy that requires ceremonial uniforms the USOC purchases or commissions be sewn or assembled in the United States.
“When our Olympic athletes proudly represent our nation abroad, they should be showcasing the best of American made products. American manufacturers would be proud to produce the uniforms for Team USA and there’s no question they can compete on quality and price,” said Menendez (D-NJ.) “At a time when too many Americans are looking for work and our manufacturers are closing factories, we need to do everything we can to keep jobs in America and not give the work of producing our iconic American uniforms for our Olympians to China. I call on the USOC to do the right thing for this summer’s team, and I call on my colleagues to help pass this bill to ensure we don’t find ourselves in this appalling, embarrassing situation before the opening of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.”
“Olympians symbolize our pride for America and it’s outrageous that their uniforms aren’t being made in America. While American textiles manufacturers are struggling, the Olympic Committee should be leaders in supporting American jobs and manufacturing,” said Lautenberg (D-NJ.)
The bill would amend the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act to require the adoption of a procurement policy that requires 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.