In-depth

Commentary: U.S. politicians' hypocrisy may hinder Sino-U.S. economic, trade cooperation

English.news.cn   2012-07-16 15:55:36            

WASHINGTON, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Some U.S. politicians have displayed shades of hypocrisy as an outraged group of lawmakers led an outcry last week over the made-in-China uniforms for this year's U.S. Olympic athletes.

Responding to media reports that U.S. athletes attending the London Summer Olympics will wear navy blazers produced in China, the Congressional members, led by Senate majority leader Harry Reid, chided the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) for not dressing U.S. Olympians with made-in-U.S. uniforms.

Expressing his outrage, Reid went so far as to say that "I think they should take all the outfits, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over."

What is so astounding is that those kind of irresponsible words were spoken out by such a senior political leader.

The Olympic Spirit, which has nothing to do with politics, chants mutual understanding and fair play, so tagging the uniforms with politics by those U.S. politicians exposes narrow nationalism and ignorance, and violates the original Olympic Spirit.

In reaction to the criticism from the Congress, the USOC said the U.S. Olympic Team is privately funded by Ralph Lauren, a top U.S. sportswear designer which has most of the apparel it designed manufactured in foreign countries, not just China.

Furthermore, China and the United States are important trade partners, whose bilateral trade volume exceeded 440 billion U.S. dollars last year. China has provided the U.S. consumers with high quality commodities and necessities which are important to the U.S. citizen's daily life including the politicians'.

However, both the USOC and Ralph Lauren, bowing to the political pressure, were forced on Friday to promise that Team USA will wear uniforms manufactured in the United States for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The fury over the U.S. Olympic uniforms is just another example of the fierce, and sometimes ridiculous, political fighting going on the Capitol Hill in the year of election, which is dominated by economic growth and job creation.

By criticizing Ralph Lauren for outsourcing jobs, the politicians attempted to reap political gains by portraying themselves as a champion of insourcing U.S. jobs so as to attract greater support among U.S. voters.

The Team USA outfits have apparently touched upon the most sensitive election-year topic of the outsourcing of U.S. jobs, as the U.S. unemployment rate has been hovering above 8 percent.

Common sense, after all, tells that what really matters at competitive games is the Olympians' performances, not the origin of the uniforms they wear at the Olympic ceremonies.

If the accusation on the London Olympic outfits is justified, why shouldn't the U.S. Congress impose a ban on its members, who politically represent the country, from wearing anything or using any product that is made abroad?

It is highly probable that very few of the Congressional members will vote for such a ban, because most of the labor-intensive products and daily necessities in the United States are in fact manufactured overseas.

"Will Reid burn his Blackberry, all his home appliances, and half of his wardrobe because those were made in China?" ridiculed a reader in a blog post on the www.wsj.com.

So, if there is anything that should be burned, it should really be the hypocrisy of the U.S. politics.

Editor: znz
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