TRENTON – The Olympics are a memory for most New Jersey residents, but Trenton lawmakers haven’t forgotten the controversy that developed this summer when the media learned that the uniforms provided to the U.S. Olympic team to wear for the opening ceremony were manufactured in China.
State Sen. Nicholas P. Scutari sponsored a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to pass a law requiring U.S. Olympians to wear apparel manufactured in America, and the state Senate Labor Committee unanimously approved it today.
Scutari’s measure (SCR-123) supports legislation introduced by Democrats in the U.S. Senate – including New Jersey’s U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg – to require that attire worn in the opening and closing ceremonies by Olympians representing the United States be made in the USA.
“The Olympic Games are a representation of the greatness of athletes from around the world and a source of national pride. The skill and ability of the men and women on the United States teams is nothing short of remarkable and that was demonstrated this summer as we earned medals in 104 events on the international stage,” said Scutari (D-Union). “The fact that our athletes were unable to wear American-made uniforms to celebrate their victories in London was an embarrassment. We must ensure that the Olympic Committee resolves this issue and that this never happens again.”
On the day federal lawmakers publicized their intention to introduce legislation that would require the United States Olympic Committee to adopt a policy requiring ceremonial uniforms to be made in the USA, the USOC announced that the Ralph Lauren Corporation had agreed to manufacturing TEAM USAs apparel for opening and closing ceremonies for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in the United States.
“This measure is about more than 2014. It’s about sending a message that this country is proud of all that we stand for – and that pride extends from our athletes to our hard-working manufacturers,” added Scutari. “United States Olympians should wear American-made uniforms, and the Olympic Committee should show its support for this country by ensuring that apparel is manufactured here with American-made fabrics. To offer anything less is an insult to our athletes and to our workers alike. The federal legislation would require the USOC to adopt a policy requiring ceremonial uniforms to be made in the USA going forward. This is about doing the right thing in 2014, in 2016 and beyond.”
The resolution now heads to the full Senate. Upon passage by both houses of the Legislature, duly authenticated copies of the resolution, signed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the General Assembly and attested by the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the General Assembly, would be transmitted to the President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, each member of Congress from the State of New Jersey and each member of the Board of Directors of the United States Olympic Committee.