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Ralph Lauren to make American-made Olympic uniforms in 2014, as senators call for wardrobe change

Ralph Lauren announced Friday that the uniforms it provides the U.S. Olympic team during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, will be made in the United States.

"We have committed to producing the Opening and Closing ceremony Team USA uniforms in the United States that will be worn for the 2014 Olympic Games," the company said in a statement.

The announcement came on the heels of intense scrutiny by lawmakers after learning that the uniforms for this year's Summer Games in London were made in China.

Six senators put out a statement late Friday that they’ll introduce a bill that, if passed, would require the U.S. Olympic Committee to adopt a policy that ensures the ceremonial uniforms are "sewn or assembled in the United States."

"The U.S. Olympic Committee was 100 percent wrong to outsource the manufacturing of U.S. uniforms for the opening ceremony to China," Sen. Bob Casey. D-Pa., one of the bill’s sponsors, said.

Although Ralph Lauren agreed to make future uniforms in the U.S., the company did not address calls by some politicians to produce new uniforms this year.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who is also sponsoring the new bill, called on the committee to use an American company, suggesting Rochester-based suit maker Hickey Freeman as an ideal candidate for the job. 

He also said the New York state firm would be "thrilled" to partner with Ralph Lauren provided Ralph Lauren wants to make the uniforms stateside.

"Team USA is seeing red instead of red white and blue, and it is clear that the U.S. Olympic Committee should start over and provide the U.S.-made uniforms these athletes deserve," said Schumer.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said the panel should be "ashamed" and called for the Chinese-made uniforms to be burned.

The lawmakers introducing the bill signaled it would be applied to future Olympics, but continued to call on the Olympic Committee to "do the right thing for this summer's team" by soliciting new, made-in-the-USA uniforms.

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., called the situation "appalling" and "embarrassing."

In a statement, the U.S. Olympic Committee said it was "proud" of its partnership with producer Ralph Lauren.

"Unlike most Olympic teams around the world, the U.S. Olympic Team is privately funded and we're grateful for the support of our sponsors," the statement read. "We're proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company, and excited to watch America's finest athletes compete at the upcoming Games in London."

With corporate sponsor Ralph Lauren designing, the job of making the red, white and blue uniforms fell to its apparel contractors in China, the New York Daily News reported. Every item in the uniforms that the U.S. athletes will wear at the opening ceremony in London will carry an overseas label.

For its part, Ralph Lauren said in the statement that it  promises to "lead the conversation within our industry and our government to address the issue to increase manufacturing in the United States."