Democrats urge Olympic Committee to reconsider making uniforms in China

Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee on Thursday protesting the "shocking and deeply disappointing" decision to produce Team USA uniforms in China.

The two Democrats ask the committee to reconsider its decision and make sure it does not happen again.

"We are asking that the Committee and its Board of Directors take immediate steps to guarantee that this embarrassment does not happen again by voting that any future contracts for Olympic uniforms are made in America," they wrote. "Just as our athletes will be proudly competing in London, American manufacturers compete for the honor to outfit them on the criteria of using solely American workers to make these uniforms. It has been reported by economists that if every one of us spent an extra $3.33 on U.S.-made goods every year, it would create nearly 10,000 new jobs in this country."

The berets, shirts, blazers, skirts and trousers designed by Ralph Lauren for Team USA were all made in China, according to ABC News. The clothes are meant to be worn during the opening and closing ceremonies.

A spokesman for the Olympic Committee has called the controversy "nonsense," emphasizing that Ralph Lauren is a sponsor and an American company.

"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," Sandusky said in a statement. "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."

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) also sent a letter to the committee. 

"Not only does the United States have any number of manufacturers capable of outfitting our athletes, they are in a competition with the Chinese that is anything but fair," he wrote. "If gold medals were awarded for dodging international trade laws — China would sweep."

The letters join Senate Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) comments Thursday on the topic in expressing congressional displeasure. Reid told reporters the committee should "burn them and start all over again." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also spoke out against the decision.

Democrats were not the only ones upset about the uniforms on Thursday. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, "You'd think they know better."

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) tweeted that he is "outraged" and that the news was "beyond belief."

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