Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, including one from Long Island, criticized the U.S. Olympic Committee this week for outfitting the U.S. team in Ralph Lauren uniforms made in China.
Rep. Steve Israel, D-Huntington, urged the not-for profit USOC to reverse the decision and ensure U.S. athletes wear uniforms that are made in America, according to an Associated Press report.
"It is not just a label, it's an economic solution," Israel said. "Today there are 600,000 vacant manufacturing jobs in this country and the Olympic committee is outsourcing the manufacturing of uniforms to China? That is not just outrageous, it's just plain dumb. It is self-defeating."
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said simply of the USOC, "You'd think they'd know better," according to the AP.
"Unlike most Olympic teams around the world, the U.S. Olympic Team is privately funded and we're grateful for the support of our sponsors," USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said to the Associated Press. "We're proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company, and excited to watch America's finest athletes compete at the upcoming Games in London."
Many argue the uniforms should have been made by American workers as U.S. textile companies struggle through the economic recession.