WASHINGTON (AP) —Uniforms for U.S. Olympic athletes are American red-white-and-blue — but made in China. That has members of Congress fuming.
Republicans and Democrats railed July 12 about the U.S. Olympic Committee's decision to dress the U.S. team in Chinese-manufactured berets, blazers and pants while the American textile industry struggles economically with many U.S. workers desperate for jobs.
“I am so upset. I think the Olympic committee should be ashamed of themselves. I think they should be embarrassed. I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference on taxes.
“If they have to wear nothing but a singlet that says USA on it, painted by hand, then that's what they should wear,” Reid said, referring to an athletic jersey.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference that she's proud of the nation's Olympic athletes but “they should be wearing uniforms that are made in America.”
Republican House Speaker John Boehner said simply of the USOC, “You'd think they'd know better.”
In Beijing, China's official news agency blasted U.S. lawmakers over their complaint.
The Xinhua News Agency on Monday called the American outcry over the made-in-China Olympic blazers “hypocritical” and “irresponsible.”
Xinhua snarkily suggested that all U.S. lawmakers should perhaps be banned from “wearing anything or using any product” that was made abroad — a near-impossible restriction in today's globalized economy.