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In a deal reached between by Senator Robert Menendez (Democrat of New Jersey), Chairman Larry Probst of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), and USOC Chief Executive Officer Scott Blackmun, the USOC declared a strict 'Buy American' policy for all future agreements with respect to uniforms to be worn by athletes during parade ceremonies that are part of the Olympic, Paralympic, and Pan-American Games. This agreement, which was announced July 23, 2012, followed a mini-scandal over the production of this year's Ralph Lauren-designed parade uniforms in China and the subsequent introduction of legislation (S.3387) by Menendez and eleven other Democratic senators that would have imposed a Buy-American policy on the USOC. The new policy provides that, 'All uniforms provided by sponsors, partners, licensees, or suppliers for parade ceremonies shall be 'Made in the USA' as defined by the standards of the Federal Trade Commission,' with certain defined exceptions (e.g., when 'Obtaining such parade ceremony uniforms would be in violation of U.S. law or would not comply with any applicable trade agreements or treaties to which the United States is a party' or when 'Essential materials or parts needed to produce parade ceremony uniforms are not available in the United States'). The USOC also committed to not changing the policy without first consulting with Congress, including the relevant Committees of Jurisdiction in the Senate and the House.
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