In a visit to the state Capitol Friday, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal joined the chorus of lawmakers expressing their concern that apparel being worn by the U.S. Olympic Team was made in China, instead of the United States.
“Nothing is more important symbolically and practically than the use of American made equipment and apparel by our Olympians,” Blumenthal said.
However, his statement comes with the acknowledgement that Ralph Lauren has already agreed to outfit the 2014 Olympians in uniforms made in the United States.
“The equipment and apparel used by members of the United States Olympic team should be made in America to the every extent possible,” Blumenthal said.
His statement comes just one day after a bill he supported that would offer tax credits to manufacturing companies moving back to the United States from overseas failed to win enough support in the Senate for a debate.
“There is a profoundly significant larger point which is that we can provide incentives, whether contracts or tax credits, or other kinds of monetary attractions that have real driving force to bring jobs back,” Blumenthal said.
Earlier this week Blumenthal appeared in Waterbury , with manufacturers and labor leaders and touted his support of the Bring Jobs Home Act , which would give certain businesses a 20 percent tax credit for costs related to bringing outsourced jobs back to the United States.
The bill failed to reach the 60 votes it needed for a full debate. It failed by a vote of 56-42.
“For years I have said American manufacturers and other companies should not be permitted to deduct the expenses of moving facilities and plants, in effect jobs, overseas,” Blumenthal said.
“We are rewarding companies for shipping jobs overseas through our taxes, which is the height of insanity.”
After the press conference Blumenthal admitted that keeping a strictly American-made standard is difficult. He pointed out how there are items for sale in the gift shop at the U.S. Capitol, which are made in China.
These days even the smallest items seem to be manufactured overseas. According to Blumenthal finding a small metal American flag pin made in the United States can be challenging.