WASHINGTON (Nov. 11, 2003) — Michelin North America Inc. was pleased by passage of a $401 billion Defense Department authorization bill that didn't include the House-backed “Buy American” provision. Goodyear, however, was disappointed in the final bill.
The provision would have required tires for military vehicles, among other crucial defense goods, to come from U.S. manufacturing facilities. Michelin opposed this item, saying among other things that it would hamper quick response to troops' urgent need for tires in the field. “The passage of the defense authorization bill is a victory for U.S. servicemen and women who can continue to count on quality, dependable, field-proven military tires in meeting their mission,” said Jim Micali, chairman and president of Michelin North America, in a prepared statement.
In its own statement, Goodyear said the “Buy American” provision “does not keep any manufacturer, foreign or domestic, from competing for this business, but simply specifies that the manufacturing should be done in the U.S. to assure supply under all circumstances.” The new law at least allows for the possible future creation of a “Buy American” product list, the Akron-based tire maker added, and Goodyear “looks forward to presenting its views on these matters as the process moves forward.”