WASHINGTON — Nine "Tire Manufacturing Ambassadors" visited Capitol Hill Sept. 15 to discuss an issue important to tire makers — exempting imported steel used in tire manufacturing from tariffs.
The nine "ambassadors" stopped at more than a dozen congressional offices to argue against the tariffs and tout the economic contributions of the U.S. tire manufacturing industry, according to a press release from the United States Tire Manufacturers Association.
The USTMA members that participated in the event chose the industry ambassadors from their hourly and middle management staffs.
The individuals chosen, the association said, have been proven to show initiative on the job, motivate others to excel, demonstrate significant organizational commitment, contribute to productivity and demonstrate both professional and ethical excellence.
The ambassadors were as follows:
- Todd Heath, machine operator, Bridgestone Americas Inc., Aiken, S.C.
- Alison Kubiak, technology manager, Michelin North America Inc., Greenville, S.C.
- Mark Sterner, lead supervisor, Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C., Mt. Vernon, Ill.
- James Lee, maintenance and facilities manager, Pirelli Tire North America, Rome, Ga.
- Nichole Williams, master black belt, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Tupelo, Miss.
- Tom Calpin, HR manager, Sumitomo Rubber North America Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.
- Gary Sloan, senior technology engineering specialist, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Lawton, Okla.
- Steven Altomare, replacement product tire engineering group leader, Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc., White, Ga.
- Scott Doss, shift superintendent, Yokohama Tire Corp., Salem, Va.
This is the first time the USTMA has brought a delegation of tire workers to Washington to meet with policymakers, according to USTMA President and CEO Anne Forristall Luke.
"This is an important new program that we initiated to communicate our industry's contributions and key issues to congressional offices," Ms. Luke said. "Bringing constituents to Capitol Hill that work in USTMA member facilities adds an important dimension to the conversation with members of Congress."
A USTMA-sponsored study shows that the U.S. tire manufacturing industry supports 737,000 jobs, contributes nearly $150 billion in economic output and pays $21 billion in state, federal and local taxes, the association said.