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July 29, 2015

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The Policy Racket

Sen. Harry Reid furious over China-made Olympic team uniforms

Sen. Harry Reid speaks to community members attending the 2012 Democratic Caucus Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, at Cheyenne High School.

Sen. Harry Reid speaks to community members attending the 2012 Democratic Caucus Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, at Cheyenne High School.

Sen. Harry Reid is ripping that the U.S. Olympic team’s opening ceremony uniforms are made in China — so much so that he’d rather see American athletes show up for the London ceremonies in original Olympian nude than sport threads made by the United States' biggest economic competitor.

“Put 'em in a pile and burn 'em,” Reid said of the uniforms, which an ABC report revealed Wednesday are designed by U.S. designer Ralph Lauren, but made in China. “If they have to wear nothing but a singlet that says ‘USA,’ that’s what they should do.”

There are too many Americans in the textile manufacturing industry suffering because of outsourcing to China, Reid explained, to allow for the Olympic team’s uniforms to be made anywhere but in the United States.

“I think the Olympic committee should be ashamed of themselves,” Reid said.

This is not, however, a unique state of events. The 2008 U.S. Olympic team’s opening ceremony uniforms were also designed by Ralph Lauren and also made in China.

But four years ago, the summer Olympics were in China, and we in the United States hadn’t yet been walloped with the worst thrashes of the recession (those would start a few weeks later). This time around, economic realities make such diplomatic goodwill a luxury manufacturers, and their supporters in Congress, can’t tolerate.

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