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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
A Middle Tennessee business owner said he was floored when he discovered U.S. Olympians would be wearing uniforms made in China during the upcoming Olympic Games.
"To me, it's a slap in the face to the American manufacturers," said Harvey Wilker, owner of Eagle Manufacturing Company.
Wilker has been in the embroidery business since 1980.
He told Nashville's News 2 prior to 1980 his family owned Pajama Corporation of America in Manchester for more 50 years.
The company was once the largest producer of pajamas and robes in the country and its products were sold in Sears, K-Mart and Target stores until all of the work went overseas leaving 400 people without jobs.
"It's personal because I've seen the eyes of people when I announced we're closing our plant," said Wilker. "I've seen their eyes and I've seen what it does to small towns."
Wilker told Nashville's News 2 there are still U.S. manufacturers that could have done the work for the Olympic uniforms and desperately need it as they struggle to survive.
The Olympic clothing has created a firestorm on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Many social media users are demanding the uniforms be re-manufactured domestically. Wilker said he agrees with the public's outcries.
"Who made that decision [to use uniforms made overseas]? That's what I would like to know," said Wilker. "I don't care if the clothing was donated. Who made that decision?"
The U.S. Olympic Committee continues to defend its sponsor, Ralph Lauren, who designed clothing for the U.S. team.
The Summer Olympics kick off in London on Friday, July 27.