Published July 16, 2012
BEIJING – The uproar in the U.S. over the fact the uniforms Americans will wear in the London Olympics were made in China is "hypocritical" and "irresponsible," China's official news agency said Monday.
The Xinhua News Agency blasted U.S. lawmakers for complaining over the made-in-China Olympic blazers, saying the politicians are going against the spirit of the Olympics with their complaints.
"The Olympics spirit is all about separating sports from politics, but these U.S. politicians are going too far and trying to force a political tag onto the uniforms," it said in the Chinese-language commentary according to Reuters.
Xinhua snarkily suggested that all U.S. lawmakers should perhaps be banned from "wearing anything or using any product" that was made abroad — a near-impossible restriction in today's globalized economy.
Xinhua singled out U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid, who had called for the uniforms to be piled up and burned.
"If there is anything that should be burned, it should really be the hypocrisy of the U.S. politics," it said according to The Associated Press.
Six Democratic senators have also said they plan to introduce legislation requiring the ceremonial uniforms be produced in the United States.
The news agency blamed U.S. election year politics for the controversy, saying the team's uniforms have also been made abroad in previous years.
"The reason this issue has stirred people up is because the words 'made-in-China' touch upon the most sensitive topic of the U.S. election - 'outsourcing'," it said according to Reuters.
Outsourcing has become a hot-button issue recently in the 2012 presidential campaign.
Democrats have attacked Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney who, while at private equity firm Bain Capital, was involved in firing workers and outsourcing U.S. jobs to foreign countries.
Romney, for his part, has repeatedly pledged to get tougher with China on its trade and currency practices, including pledging to quickly declare China a currency manipulator if elected.
The U.S. Olympic Committee has defended its decision to have Ralph Lauren Corp design the outfits and oversee the manufacturing process.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.