Wednesday, March 12, 2014
WASHINGTON -- Maine Congressman Mike Michaud, who has long been active on fair trade issues, has joined the chorus of lawmakers upset that U.S. Olympians will be wearing uniforms made in China when they compete in London later this month.
Michaud, D-District 2, co-led a coalition of 59 members of Congress who signed a letter on Tuesday urging the U.S. Olympic Committee to adopt policies to ensure that – presumably in the future – olympians’ uniforms are manufactured in this country. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-District 1, was also a co-signer.
With the Olympics just a few weeks away, the bipartisan letter is largely symbolic, however. And while the signers expressed their “outrage” that designer Ralph Lauren had the uniforms made in China, they stopped well short of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s comments last week that they should “take all of the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them.”
“American manufacturing is critical to the soul of the country,” reads the letter to Scott Blackmun, the Olympic Committee’s CEO. “The U.S. textile and apparel industry provides the backbone to many cities and towns. These American companies are capable of making these uniforms at competitive prices. Hard working Americans should have the privilege of manufacturing uniforms for Team USA.”
On Wednesday, Michaud and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, will also join a group of New Balance employees from Maine and elsewhere who will be on Capitol Hill. The group has concerns about a new potential free trade agreement and changes to tariffs that they fear could hurt domestic manufacturers.Tweet
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