Future Olympic uniforms to be American-made
Roughly two weeks has passed since the fury over Chinese-made uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team, but the ripples from the controversy are still being felt.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced on Monday that the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and a group of U.S. Senators struck a deal that requires, as of 2014, the opening and closing ceremony uniforms for the American team to be made in the U.S.
Sunlen Miller reports for ABC News:
Menendez and eleven other Democratic Senators introduced legislation in the senate last week that would require the U.S. Olympic Committee to outfit the US Olympic team in clothes made in America for all future Olympic games. On Wednesday Sen. Menendez met with USOC Chairman Larry Probst and USOC Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun in Washington.
As a result of those discussions, the USOC drafted and adopted a new Team USA uniform policy which mirrors the 'Team USA Made in America Act,'legislation filed by the Senators in Congress.
This policy will not only apply to opening and closing uniforms for athletes competing at the Olympics but also those competing in the Paralympics and Pan-American games.
Miller explains the intricacies of the agreement:
All uniforms provided by sponsors, partners, licensees, or suppliers for parade ceremonies shall be 'Made in the USA' with the exception being that essential materials or parts needed to produce parade ceremony uniforms are not available in the United States, obtaining such parade ceremony uniforms would cause undue delay or create material financial detriment to the U.S. Olympic Committee, or it would violate IOC, Local Organizing Committee or host country laws, rules or regulations to adhere to the policy for the particular event.
If the U.S. Olympic Committee cannot obtain parade ceremony uniforms in conformance with this policy, it is requires to make publicly available information explaining the reasons why it cannot do so.
Apparently, some folks affiliated with NASCAR witnessed the USOC fiasco and decided not to take any chances. Charlotte Motor Speedway has increased its efforts to promote American-made souvenirs.
Whowon.com, a website for racing enthusiasts, quotes the president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Marcus Smith:
There’s a significant ripple effect to buying American-made goods,” Smith said. “We buy from an American company, which employs American workers and gets its materials from American farmers. Those farmers can use their profits to expand their businesses, create more jobs and hopefully buy some race tickets.”
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