Harry Reid Should ‘Burn His Own Wardrobe’ (Xinhua, People’s Republic of China)
Are U.S. Congress
member violating the Olympic spirit and expressing ‘narrow-minded nationalism
and ignorance’ with their near-hysterical reaction to news that Team USA has uniforms
made in China? This editorial from China’s state-run Xinhua points out that if
Harry Reid and his Congressional colleagues are so angry about China-made
products, they should start burning their clothes and smart phones.
WASHINGTON: Some U.S. politicians are displaying a
rainbow of hypocrisy. Last week, outraged lawmakers let go an outcry over made-in-China
uniforms for U.S. Olympic athletes.
Responding to media reports that U.S. athletes attending the
London Summer Olympics will wear navy blazers produced in China, Congress
members, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, chided the U.S. Olympic
Committee for not dressing U.S. Olympians with made-in-U.S. uniforms.
Expressing his outrage, Reid went so far as to say, "I
think they should take all the outfits, put them in a big pile, burn them and
start all over."
It is astounding that words of such irresponsibility were
spoken by a senior political leader.
The Olympic Spirit, which has nothing to do with politics, embodies
mutual understanding and fair play. By conflating uniforms with politics, U.S.
politicians have revealed a narrow-minded nationalism and ignorance, violating the
very essence of the Olympic Spirit.
In reaction to the Congressional criticism, the U.S. Olympic
Committee said that the U.S. Olympic Team is appreciated the support of Ralph
Lauren, a leading U.S. sportswear designer that happens to produce most of the apparel
it designs in foreign countries, China being one of them.
Furthermore, China and the United States are prodigious
trade partners, with bilateral trade volume exceeding $440 billion last year.
China has provided U.S. consumers - including the politicians - with high-quality
commodities and necessities that are vital to their daily lives.
Nevertheless, both the U.S. Olympic Committee and Ralph
Lauren, bowing to political pressure, were forced to promise that Team USA would
wear uniforms manufactured in the United States starting in the 2014 Winter
Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
This fury over U.S. Olympic uniforms is just another case of
the fierce and at times absurd political fighting that occurs on Capitol Hill, particularly
in an election year dominated by issues of economic growth and job creation.
By criticizing the outsourcing of jobs by Ralph Lauren, politicians
seek political gain by portraying themselves as champions of “insourcing” U.S.
By touching on the outsourcing of U.S. jobs, the outfits of Team
USA have hit gotten caught up in the most sensitive issue in this year’s U.S.
campaign: the U.S. unemployment rate, which has been hovering above 8 percent.
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