Made in China…Team USA

AP photo/Ralph Lauren

Check out the proud uniforms of Team USA 2012.  Visually, there’s no reason to think badly of this appropriately colored uniform unless you have an aversion to the country club regurgitation look.   The uniform looks like it came out of a bad French yuppie flick as only the illustrious designer Ralph Lauren can produce.  Hey, Ralph, what’s with the beret?  Is the embarrassing headgear necessary?

Before I receive comments, e-mails, etc. on how un-American it is to make fun of Team USA’s uniforms, I might agree…except now.  Aside from the uniforms deceptively implying that all Americans are wealthy preppies, the uniforms are made in China.

The team that should be the epitome of Americana is sporting duds from a country whose flag colors are red and yellow.  Maybe we’re trying to better our relationship with China?  I think I read that our country romance is on the rocks.  Although I do side with Ed Randell in his book A Nation of Wusses: How American’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great when he said… 

The Chinese steal our intellectual property, manipulate their currency to give themselves huge economic benefits over us, and send us crappy products – and not just cheaply made jeans. I’m talking about lead-laced toys and poisoned dog food and who knows what else. (18)

Basically, American business getting a tax break by offshoring jobs to places like China know that we’re getting cheaply made, low quality goods so they can line their pockets in green paper.  Maybe I should say that line their offshore accounts in digital green paper.

Either way, Team USA won’t just be representing our wonderful country, but also the country of China.  I’m sure China will make note of where our uniforms were made when they broadcast the Olympics in their country.

Those uniforms are entirely un-American and they should always be made in the good ol’ US of A where the team originates.  Just imagine the domino effect of goodness that would befall this land full of disillusioned, pragmatic people if those clothes were made at home.

Think about it.  Ralph Lauren is selling clothes on his website – probably has a whole product line – of Team USA clothes including replicas of the opening ceremony uniforms.  When people buy those replicas and marvel at the superior construction of the USA-made frock, they would demand that MORE clothes be made in the USA.  Perhaps the Lane Bryant jeans I used to buy wouldn’t have suffered in overall quality if they had been made here.

There’s no getting around it.  The fact that Team USA was wearing homemade clothes coupled with a very good, highly widespread commercialization of the clothes (with the location of the production blazoned everywhere) might have galvanized the textile industry bringing much-needed jobs to Americans who are desperate to get back to work.

Unfortunately, we are not a country that rewards corporations, businesses, etc. in bringing and keeping jobs in the country.  The last reigning administration made sure that we are a nation that rewards those mountains of industry for being un-American by keeping jobs away from our hungry shores.

We have become a sad country in a slump of our own making by not making anyone accountable for the atrocities that have been successfully practiced against us.  I fear these uniforms are a commentary on how far we have fallen.

One thought on “Made in China…Team USA

  1. Alison Baker says:

    I was really surprised at the “justification” for the decision from the industry. WSJ has a really good article in it filled with the typical obfuscations. Bottom line: We’re grandstanding.

    Trade understanding: The Chinese are really good at producing low-cost uniforms. The U.S. is really good at innovative technology and advanced manufacturing. FRB-SF calculated that in 2010 goods labeled “Made in China” accounted for just 2.7% of U.S. personal-consumption expenditures on goods and services. Everything else is fro SE Asia apparently. Also, the U.S. economy is relatively closed meaning that the majority of goods and services sold in the U.S. is U.S. made. I’m sure that’s true. It’s not evident in IL & MO. Especially So. IL where so many talented, degreed prospective wage earners have to find employment elsewhere. When thinking the future of U. S. manufacturing is AI & robotics, the first geographic location that comes to mind is not MO or IL or even the Midwest.,0

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