Jul 17 2012 in Latest by littlebuddha
Photo: Gage Skidmore
While Republicans and Democrats alike have been criticizing U.S. Olympic uniform designer Ralph Lauren’s decision to outsource production to China, Mitt Romney has been noticeably silent on the issue, calling the debate “extraneous” and saying the focus should be on the athletes. Throughout his presidential campaign, Romney has repeatedly promised to “get tough on China,” so his decision not to speak out was initially surprising. But, it turns out, he may have a reason for keeping quiet—the torchbearers’ uniforms for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, for which Romney served as president and CEO of the organizing committee, were made in Burma, which until last year was controlled by a brutal military junta.
One of the 2002 torchbearers, Susan Bonfield, tipped off a Burmese democratic group when she received her uniform in 2001. Trade unions and human rights groups protested and called on the International Olympic Committee to apologize and promise not to support the Burmese regime again.