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May 3, 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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  1. That's a clown comment bro.

  2. Harry is so detached from reality that he doesn't realize that EVERYTHING is actually made in China. Please!

  3. Then Harry should pay for all the Olympic uniforms to be made here in America. He can afford it.

  4. Get to work Harry! Our teams are privately funded and any help these kids get to be able to participate in the Olympics is appreciated. Look at the tag inside your own jacket man! But why burn any of your $1,500.00 suites right? We need you to concentrate on the economy and on creating jobs old man!

  5. I am furious that Harry Reid has not done a budget for 3 years and has not done his job to tell the American people how to spend their money.

    Stop wasting time on the silly things Reid - and get to work...

    or move out of the way and let someone smarter than you budget America's money.

  6. I am ashamed of Harry
    When we should be valuing our American athletes he just bashes them.
    For someone who has over 40 bills to vote on;
    For someone who has refused to do a budget for the US;
    for someone who refuses to work well with others
    Reid could have made friends with people who run the OLympics and worked with them in advance to choose an appropriate uniform
    but the usual Harry
    Bash everyone - and do no work for the American people
    or the people who work in the US.
    SHame on Harry.

  7. Harry does not even know he has allowed the POTUS to run up the budget deficit sky high (and it does not matter which POTUS you talk about) -

    that Harry pays 40 cents of each of our tax dollars to the Chinese.

    What is Harry doing about this much larger problem?
    Diverting us and bashing worldwide textile workers.....

  8. For once I agree with Dear Senator.

  9. Good for Harry The rest of you Bozo's better wake up and smell the roses. The reason China is an economic power is because 90% of what is produced in China is consumed there. Most of the stuff from China is junk to start with. When they send us lead base paint toys dog food that kills our pets and sheet rock that molds to the wall you are all screaming for Harry and colleagues to do something about that. People need to stop speaking out of both side of their mouths. Shopping at W=Mart all of the time is shopping your self out of a job. The Billionaires who own these companies that outsource the jobs are the same ones who pour in big $$$$ to the GOP so they know they will be protected. The people inside the uniforms were made in the USA so should the clothing.

  10. I'm glad that Reid is upset over this, I am too. But I am much more upset that Reid and every single other member of Congress hasn't done jack squat to address the reasons why we buy so much of our goods from China (with the resulting loss of manufacturing jobs here) in the first place!

    Go ahead and raise hell, Harry, but we all want you to actually do something about it!

  11. I would be interested to know if this change to China made Olympic uniforms has anything to do with Romney's tenure with the Olympics or if Bain or Romney own any part of the Chinese company manufacturing or selling the uniforms.
    Reid is right to question the sanity of our American Team wearing clothing manufactured in China. Thank you Senator Reid!

  12. By the way, if Harry is so upset over this, why did he work so hard to get a Chinese solar panel firm here in Nevada instead of enabling a US firm to do the same? (Or was Solyndra his only other choice?)

  13. From another news source:

    "You'd think they'd know better," Rep. John Boehner said of the US Olympic Committee.

    At least for once there was essentially bipartisan agreement.

    Here's another one...

    "The classic navy blue blazers, white trousers and skirts, and red-accented ties and berets may have a distinctly American look, but the label inside reads "Made in China".

    Since when are "berets" a distinctly American look? Berets are distinctively French.

    "The US Olympic uniforms cost $1,945 for men and $1,473 for women, Ralph Lauren said."

    That is for each uniform. How much of that did the Chinese get?

    If they had held a competition among young American student designers, and used American manufactures, perhaps the price would have been competitive.

    I bet some American manufacture's would have been willing to give a price break for the advertisement and status.

    I think the bulk of the cost went to lining Ralph Lauren's superstar designer pockets.

    However, since the Olympics in the U.S. is a private organization, and costs the government nothing, I think they can choose to do as they please.

    If we want the government to sponsor the U.S. Olympic team, as some other countries do for their teams, we have a right to criticize where the uniforms are manufactured.

    If not, it is just another business outsourcing decision made by a private organization.

  14. @Danno, "Made in America does not mean what it used to anymore. I recently purchased a new American made car. On the origination documents, 90% of the components were manufactured in other countries, yet a sticker on my window says "Made in Michigan with pride."

    Yes, many things made here are really only assembled here, with parts made elsewhere.

    The same goes with come clothing. Some of our trade deals require that pieces of a garment are sown in other countries, but not assembled. The are to be assembled only in the U.S. When you consider how fast a garment can be assembled, and how low the cost for the foreign piece work, the price for garments have a good profit margin.

    Same goes for processing. Coffee for example. Trade deals require that only the beans can be exported to the U.S. Some other countries cannot export processed coffee. We must process the beans.

    Sure, we can buy beans for ourselves on the Internet, and some of them are fair trade, but most people don't bother.

    People are interested in Free Trade not Fair Trade.

    Personally, I think this flap is hypocritical in light of our trade agreements, and that the USOC being a private organization.

    The team uniforms are an example of the real America.

  15. Roots of Canada made the uniforms for the 2002 and 2004 US Olympic teams.

  16. My God, you Harry Haters...

    Get a CLUE, MAN!!!

    Harry is right, as usual.
    Some people would say Harry is full of it if he said the sky is blue, because...
    'Made In China' uniforms for our Olympians?
    THAT IS shameful.
    And probably inferior quality, but who cares if they're 'cheaper', right?
    'Sponsors' of our Olympians should take a bow, as well...
    is that the 'BEST WE CAN DO'???
    I'm sure Thurston Howell-Romney is proud as a PEACOCK!!!

  17. Here is a link to how people can contribute to support the US Olympic team...

    That would be more constructive than criticism. It puts the athletes first.

  18. This is a great time for the GOP to increase the diversity of dialog and vote on Health Care again. It will De-emphasize the Olympics.

  19. If WE burned all the clothes that were made in China or some other country, most of US would be naked!!

  20. @Open Range: The Olympics haven't started yet. What you are watching are "time trials" and those sappy background stories.

    @peacelilly: That's been happening for years now. GM's Canada factories build for BOTH countries; in fact, my manual refers to "Canadian Model" or "In Canada...." quite a bit. This is nothing new.

    This WHOLE fiasco is NOT the fault of the Government or the politicians. It is the fault of the U.S. Olympic Committee and Ralph Lauren, who they insist on constantly using even though his designers suck. Ralph Lauren wants to make a profit - so China it is. There are plenty of clothing manufacturers here in the United States and my guess is NO ONE, from the Olympic COmmittee to Lauren's corporation, approached them on making the uniforms and at what cost.

    It is a horrible travesty. Not to mention - the uniforms SUCK BIG TIME!!! Other than Green Berets and the Girl Scouts - who wears berets today?? The Von Trapp Family Singers in "Sound of Music" had more stylish "uniforms" made out of curtains then these ugly things the athletes will have to wear

  21. Time to apply pressure on the US Olympic Committee to offer Citizens information, choices, and opportunities towards supporting American athletes!

    We are all happy to support through our purchases as we consume products and services here. Not once, have I seen a contest, or a "What do you think?" on the USA athlete's uniforms, or even asking to contribute towards facilities or equipment. Could be I missed it, but I do try to read or watch to be current.

    Since Senator Reid is SO UPSET with these US Olympic uniforms not being made in the USA, he should propose replacing them with "Made in the USA/America" uniforms, and open bidding for it, and along with that, him contribute to it, as well as opening up contributing to those who are also "upset" over this.

    Hey, if Romney used the Salt Lake Moots company in the past, and I assume this is an LDS Moron company, they would likely welcome again this opportunity to demonstrate their patriotism and commitment to American made products. Just saying.

    Peacelily got it right, "However, since the Olympics in the U.S. is a private organization, and costs the government nothing, I think they can choose to do as they please.

    If we want the government to sponsor the U.S. Olympic team, as some other countries do for their teams, we have a right to criticize where the uniforms are manufactured.

    If not, it is just another business outsourcing decision made by a private organization."

    Blessings and Peace,

  22. China shouldn't manufacture the uniforms. But if the senator had his way he would have them manufactured right there in Vegas on Fremont Street in some sweat shop so the illegal immigrants could take more American jobs and he can go after those precious Latino votes we all keep hearing about,

  23. I heard that Obama's stuff like tshirts and mugs..buttons..were all made in China
    I know his bus was made in Canada..
    The Olympics has private sponsors.

  24. As of last night, Ralph Lauren said for any future uniforms for the Olympics, they will be made in the USA.

    We'll see about that.

    Also, Mr. Lauren, for any future uniforms, keep the size of YOUR goofy logo smaller than the American Flag!!!