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U.S. Olympic uniforms made in China: Where do you draw the line?

Posted by Mitch Lipka  July 12, 2012 09:30 PM

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2012 RL Opening Ceremony.jpgOur toys are made in China. Most of our appliances and durable goods come from China. A good percentage of the inventory at the most popular stores in America are filled with Chinese-made goods. Most of the apple juice and garlic products sold in the U.S. come from - you guessed it - China.

So, should we be surprised that the U.S. Olympic team uniforms were made in China? Perhaps not. Disappointed? I should say so.

These aren't consumer commodities that needed to be purchased on the cheap. In fact, you'd have to drop more than $1,000 to buy the full uniform because of its Ralph Lauren branding - not because of its Chinese manufacturing.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggests the outfits be destroyed.

"I am so upset. I think the Olympic committee should be ashamed of themselves," Reid was quoted by the AP as saying a news conference today. "I think they should be embarrassed. I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again."

Lawmakers from both parties agreed "Made in China" wasn't the best sign to have posted inside the clothing required to be worn be all U.S. athletes. The U.S. team also wore Chinese made Ralph Lauren outfits at the 2008 Olympics. But those games were actually in China.

The U.S. Olympic Committee responded that it is privately funded and appreciates the support it receives from the clothing company.

What do you think? Should the athletes ditch the outfits and just wear jeans? Should the U.S. team clothing be required to be made in the U.S.? Or is all this fuss over nation of origin a lot to do over nothing?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at


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