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[POLL] Should U.S. Olympic Uniforms Be Made In U.S.?

Clothing designer Ralph Lauren had uniforms for the Opening Ceremonies manufactured in China; Rep. James Langevin co-authors letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee arguing for domestic manufacture.


Even though most – if not all – of the clothes we wear every day are made in some place other than the United States, when it comes to the Olympics, suddenly it matters that the uniforms to be worn by our athletes in the Opening Ceremonies July 27 were made in China rather than here.

Ralph Lauren outsourced the manufacturing to China and politicians and some citizens are up in arms. The reaction has been so strong, the company has pledged to manufacture uniforms for the 2014 Winter Games in the U.S.

Rhode Island Rep. James Langevin co-authored a letter with colleagues Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) and Jon Runyan (R-N.J.) challenging the U.S. Olympic Committee to do even more to ensure uniforms will be manufactured domestically in the future.

"... while we applaud the announcement that Ralph Lauren will domestically manufacture Team USA apparel for 2014, we would urge you to consider additional steps that can be taken to address this matter ... " the letter read.

The Providence Journal reports Rep. David Cicilline thinks the situation could be made better by engaging a manufacturer, Northwest Woolen Mills in Woonsocket, to make the berets for the Opening Ceremonies.

However, some argue we shouldn't be worried about where the uniforms are made.

According to Business Week, "garment manufacturing is a low-cost commodity business. Most of the value in the apparel industry comes from design, technology, sales, marketing, and distribution—not manufacturing. The successful players in apparel, such as Ralph Lauren and Nike, figured this out long ago."

What do you think about the uniforms? Vote in the poll below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Dagny Taggart July 18, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Someone clearly "dropped the ball" on this one. With our economy being in such dire straits why is ANYTHING being made outside the USA, especially the uniforms of the athletes representing our country? To me, this is a clear example of why our country has fallen so far behind. If this is the acceptable mindset for the U.S. Olympics that I think we can see what matters to those who are making the decisions.
Russell Archambault July 18, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I hate the fact that everything is being made overseas. At this point why worry about this, just to be hypocritical ? I voted no because of it. Berra's are made right here in woonsocket. Too bad we could not have produced them for the Olympics. But Ralph Lauren could care less. Im sure he made a million dollars designing the uniform. If anyone would have used their head in designing these uniforms,and If this was budgeted item, they could have made the pants into shorts, and the skirts much shorter. with that saving in materials, we then could have used USA stitchers to do the work, not be afraid of the Chinese putting some kind of drug into the material,to weaken the athletes ability to preform, save on transportation, and could have had a tag that stated made in USA, instead of a tag printed HAHAHA made in china!
Russell Archambault July 18, 2012 at 05:22 PM
One good thing, at least the china label is printed in english, USA would have to print in english and spanish. My point is; stop complaining because the next time you buy just about anything your buying from china.
Doctor July 18, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I recently purchased a pair of Levis jeans over the internet only to discover when they arrived that they were made in Pakistan and not the USA. I immediately filled in the return slip and stated not made in the USA as a reason for the return and they have refunded my money.
Dagny Taggart July 18, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Russell Archambault, you have clearly never seen me shop. We do have choices and I'm not "complaining", I was commenting. All of us have choices, it just depends upon how lazy people are in their choices. And I want to thank all of you out there who look for the alternative product that is made in the USA. If enough people do this it truly can and will make a difference. Maybe it will bring jobs back to our country and the government will pay attention. We may even be able to buy some of the USA back from China? Who knows?
Still Hope July 18, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Cool story bro. Everyone has a new flavor of Kool-aid for idiots to drink. Northwest Woolen Mills 235 Singleton Street | Woonsocket, Rhode Island 02895 Woolagain 235 Singleton Street | Woonsocket, Rhode Island 02895 "Woolagain is the result of a joint venture established 15 years ago with our partners in India."
English first July 18, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Most "American" brands are made in China. Once I went to LLBeans and there were about three products made in the USA....Their signature tote bags and Old Town canoes. At least they have a fabulous return policy. Buy American http://www.americansworking.com/
Russell Archambault July 18, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Dagny I agree with your second comment completely, was not responding to your first. Just a view I have on this pathetic situation USA people have bringing jobs overseas. Maybe we could go shopping together one day.ILL be glad to start a new a saying "THINK USA"
Russell Archambault July 18, 2012 at 07:07 PM
HOPE; your kidding, just cant win can we?
Still Hope July 18, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Only way to win is to accept it and move on. The global market is here to stay whether you choose to embrace it or not. The computer or phone you are reading this on is at least 50% Asian born. Feel free to trace every material and each manufacturer until you are satisfied that it is entirely American. But also feel free to be disappointed. Let me ask you this: in Salt Lake City, we're all the new Olympic buildings made of 100% US steel, powered by domestic fuel, and we're the participants and spectators sold and fed only American products? And some people are upset about a beret. US policy, corporate greed, and union control is forcing America to be on the shallow end of the global pool. Enjoy the swim.
Dagny Taggart July 18, 2012 at 10:32 PM
You can shop USA right on line too Russell!!!! Thanks for the response. "Still Hope" , your name belies your vision....it wasn't just the berets.....it was the entire uniform. You seem to have given up "Hope". Many of us believe we can be great once again....or at least give it the best shot but with the attitude that you have I can see why America could continue to fail.
John R Dionne July 18, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Rep David Cicilline represents Rhode Island and the United States of America. At his press conference someone should have asked him where his shirt, tie, shoes, socks etc were made? Does he drive a American made car? His the phone he uses made in America? Please, I believe the uniforms for the last U. S team came Burma. My LANDS END polo that I am wearing is made in PERU. Is that in Indiana? John R Dionne
Memere July 18, 2012 at 10:58 PM
If our country is to succeed, we MUST bring our companies back to the United States. I detest the fact that many US companies have moved overseas due to the fact that they can have a cheap labor force over their. Our politicians were idiots to approve of NAFTA and allow all of our companies to leave this country. Where are our people supposed to work? A high tax should be imposed on imported goods so that Americans will be more likely to buy domestic made products. And, yes, I too do read labels and prefer to buy things that are made HERE!!!!! Isn't the extremely high unemployment in the country enough to tell our politicians that OUR PEOPLE need jobs? Time to bring our companies home.
John R Dionne July 18, 2012 at 11:50 PM
I agree. NAFTA which was to take us from the sweat shops having foreigners do the work at low cost which would allow us to buy more products and hold sales jobs making it easier to make a decent wage and enjoy life. BUSH/CLINTON programs. Contrary to popular belief, manf-production has not decreased but because of machines, one person now can do the job 0f 50. Also because of health costs employers rather pay overtime than hire additional people. Yes, time to bring our companies home. John R Dionne
Dagny Taggart July 19, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Memere, You rock. We need more people who think this way. Let's take those who are lazy and apathetic and put a fire under their pants! Let's take those on welfare and put them back to work to earn the money they are given! I will post the site that EVERYONE can use to buy in the USA! It's your choice people, do it or SHUT up! And that includes ME!
Dagny Taggart July 19, 2012 at 12:29 AM
http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=Made+In+America+products+online&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 Go here for made in the USA!
centaur July 19, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Napoleon: "Money knows no borders".
Still Hope July 19, 2012 at 02:59 AM
On the contrary Dagny, I listed the factors that hinder production and domestic trade in this country: US policy, corporate greed, and union control. If any one of these deterrents were to ease their control, this country could see a reawakening. It is my belief that the children of the 80s and 90s will muster up enough fortitude to undo the selfish misgivings of the baby-boomers. They will return us to the direction of personal choice and freedom while keeping regard for moral well being. It will take a little bit more than buying a T-shirt made in USA to get us there, my friend.
Still Hope July 19, 2012 at 03:33 AM
A perspective: I know someone that runs a home security business. He kept an office of about 25 people, some were installers but most were telemarketers selling the products. The average demographic was a single mother 20s-30s with maybe a HS diploma. The wages were hourly plus commission but essentially you make what you sell, skies the limit. Some of the better sellers would clear $2000 a week when bonuses came in. Not a bad gig for someone with limited resources. Then a few things happened in this company. The post 2008 decline hit, minimum wage went up for the slackers, some employees were made to go from 1099 to W2, and health care became mandated! So here are the options: A. Pay more money and benefits for the same moderately-literate, somewhat reliable, self-entitled employees that are barely keeping the company afloat during a down season. Or... B. Outsource that portion of the business to a professional company that has an army of trained and thirsty go-getters whose average joe is as good as your superstar. A force that shows up in shirt n tie and, by nature, is satisfied putting in an honest day's work for an honest pay. The one caveat: these professionals are part of an institute in India. So, the choice of course was to keep the original staff! 6 months later it proved less than sustainable. Now, the Indians are cheaper, more professional, and making the business more successful than ever. How do you argue that?
Still Hope July 19, 2012 at 03:44 AM
For anyone that is thinking of referencing sweatshops or labor laws or anything to that effect...you have no idea what you are talking about and watch too much Dateline NBC. I've seen regular video conference calls from here to India and I have met some of the people on the other end first hand. You'd be amazed how much people from another country value their craft, the stuff we take for granted. The labor unions have forced the hands of business, both large and small to explore other opportunities. US employment laws and mandates makes it tough to sustain a decent workforce. Talk about driving jobs and business away.
Dagny Taggart July 19, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Very well stated "Still Hope". The labor unions, the governmental mandates and the laws that punish business in the US have driven jobs and businesses away. That is why I said we have to start with the government to make the changes and I can assure everyone reading this post that the current administration is not amenable to these kinds of changes. The United States has become a country of "hand outs" . How can we sustain that? Where our predecessors used to "value their craft" we have many who don't even want to work because they can make more if they don't work! When you break the human spirit you get a broken country. Simple as that.

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