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Bill would help tire manufacturers

By Lucas Bechtol

A bill introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) would help domestic tire producers by giving purchasers a tax credit.

Retreaded Truck Tire Jobs, Supply Chain Security and Sustainability Act would support tire producers in Ohio and across the nation by lowering tire costs through a tax credit. This will help local companies compete with Chinese imports.

“The tire retreading industry supports thousands of good paying jobs in the country and in our state,” Brown said recently. “The tire industry and the retread industry have been critical to the local economy for decades. Truck companies rely on retreaded tires to keep their trucks on the road. Bus fleets need retreaded tires to keep up their operations. It’s sustainable, it’s affordable.”

Despite this, he said many domestic tire plants have shut down, leaving the U.S. having only 500 plants.

Now, the market is flooded with “shoddy, cheap tires” from countries like China, Brown said. “That will result in putting more American plants out of business.

Understand when it’s Chinese workers, it’s often child labor,” he added. “It’s so often, in some cases, slave labor. It’s plants that don’t follow environmental rules, it’s workers who aren’t protected on the job. That’s in direct contrast with our values, the great majority of American plants, American treat workers.”

If passed, his bill would provide tax credit to consumers and companies purchasing domestic retreaded tires, Brown said.

Despite being more expensive in the long term, as cheaper tires will need to be replaced more often, people will turn to Chinese imports because they are cheaper in the short term, he added.

“This tax credit would close that gap, make it more affordable to buy American, retreaded tires in the first place,” Brown said. “The tax credit would help lower costs for anyone buying retreaded tires. And truckers who have to buy their own tires would save money. It would save money throughout the trucking supply chain.”

Johnny McIntosh, senior director of commercial services and retreads at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, said his business was encouraged by the legislation.

“We know that retreading commercial tires is a sustainable and cost-effective solution for fleets,” he said. “And the largest and most sophisticated fleets in America that I work with a lot they know this, too, and they heavily leverage retreading. They do it primarily because it’s a cost advantage... Our hope is this legislation would help encourage those fleets to participate with quality new tire products and retread programs.”

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