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Bill calls for Olympians to wear U.S.-made gear

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Six Democratic senators announced Friday they have co-sponsored legislation to require the U.S. Olympic team wear American-made uniforms.

The measure is in response to news reports this week that U.S. athletes will be donning foreign-made uniforms — including Ralph Lauren-designed blazers manufactured in China — during the opening ceremonies to the Summer Games in London later this month.

“When our Olympic athletes proudly represent our nation abroad, they should be showcasing the best of American made products,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat and a co-sponsor of the bill.

“While American textiles manufacturers are struggling, the (U.S.) Olympic Committee should be leaders in supporting American jobs and manufacturing,” added co-sponsor Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey.

The bill would require ceremonial uniforms for U.S. Olympians be sewn or assembled in the United States with fabrics formed and cut in the U.S., or components knit to shape from yarns wholly formed in the U.S. If the U.S. Olympic Committee couldn’t meet the requirements, it would have to provide a detailed justification.

The four other co-sponsors of the “Team USA Made In America Act of 2012” are Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

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