BLUE ASH, Ohio - The United States Olympic Committee has been criticized recently for purchasing teams' uniforms that were China.
According to Blue Ash, Ohio, based clothing manufacturer Fechheimer Brothers President, Bob Getto there are numerous clothing makers throughout the United States. That is why he says the oversight is bad.
"It's a big stink, because the elite athletes of the United States represent all 300 million of us," Getto said. "We do have an apparel industry in the United States that makes excellent, excellent product."
Getto fired off numerous companies from the deep south, to the east coast to the upper mid-west that could have produced uniforms for the team. He also kept his company represented.
"We could have made the shirts," said Getto.
Two-hundred fifty years after Christopher Columbus sailed the "ocean blue," German immigrants with the name of Fechheimer established a clothing company in Cincinnati. According to company history, it supplied uniforms to the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War.
Since then, the company has created, altered and mended clothing for numerous police and fire departments throughout the country and the world. Two of its largest clients are the United States Army and Marine Corps, supplying nearly 75 percent of those military branches uniforms and clothing.
"They have to made in the United States, because the Berry Amendment, which is a law that requires the uniforms to be made here," said Getto.
That military law mandates all uniforms be completely made and manufactured in the United States.
The list is quite specific:
Clothing and the materials and components thereof, other than sensors, electronics, or other items added to, and not normally associated with, clothing and the materials and components thereof. Clothing includes items such as outerwear, headwear, underwear, nightwear, footwear, hosiery, handwear, belts, badges, and insignia. (252.225-7012)
Getto's current focus is to get the Department of Homeland Security's TSA contract. There is no mandate that provides that department's uniforms be produced in the United States. Fechheimer Brothers employs nearly 600 people world wide.
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