A bill requiring U.S. Olympic team uniforms to be made in America will get quick action before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, committee chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller said Tuesday.
Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, both D-W.Va., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, were among 12 senators - 11 Democrats and one Independent - introducing, the "Team U.S.A. Made in America Act." The measure has been assigned to the Senate Commerce Committee.
The legislation requires the U.S. Olympic Committee to adopt a policy requiring ceremonial uniforms for athletes purchased or otherwise obtained by the committee to be produced in America. It would amend the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act to require the uniforms to be sewn or assembled in America "with fabrics formed and cut in the United States, or components knit to shape from yarns wholly formed in the United States," the legislation states. If the USOC couldn't meet these requirements, they would have to provide a detailed justification for sourcing from overseas.
Recently it was revealed uniforms to be worn by the U.S. Olympic team during opening Olympic ceremonies in London were ordered from the Ralph Lauren company and made in China.
Rockefeller said he will be pushing to move the legislation forward as quickly as possible before his committee.
"This is about more than creating jobs and supporting American manufacturers," he continued. "It's about taking pride in how we present ourselves to the world."
Manchin said the issue reflects the larger problem of outsourcing jobs in America.
"Our American athletes are so proud to carry the American flag - and I know that they would be proud to wear the 'Made in the U.S.A.' logo, too," he said. "The Olympic Games are one of the most patriotic events I can think of, and every two years they bring the people of this country together - whether you're a West Virginian or a New Yorker, Democrat or Republican, live in the country or live in the city. This idea is pretty simple. When the best American athletes are representing this country, they should be wearing the best 'Made in the U.S.A.' uniforms.