Congressman Tim Ryan Urges Navy to Give Fair Treatment to American Tire Manufactures
Washington, D.C - Today Congressman Tim Ryan questioned Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus at a Congressional Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Budget Hearing, asking Secretary Mabus and the Navy to abandon its anti-competitive contracting measures which penalizes U.S. domestic tire manufacturers like Goodyear Tire in Akron. Existing contracts with the U.S. Navy allow foreign tire manufacturers to act as program managers for the Navy tire contract. The result of this has been that Navy contractors such as Michelin select their own tires 98% of the time, with many of those tires imported.
“Mr. Secretary this budget environment is extremely tight”, said Congressman Ryan during the testimony. “Let us save the taxpayer some money, conduct business in a uniform way across DOD, provide competitive pricing for aviation tires, inject fairness, and allow for investment in American manufacturing.”
Congressman Ryan pointed out to Secretary Mabus that any new contracts “should prohibit any tire manufacturer from acting as a prime contractor for the management of the contract” (the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Appropriations Report). Those reforms have almost completely eliminated the unfair, uncompetitive, and uneven process that allowed Paris, France-based Michelin Tire to directly contract and manage Department of Defense tire procurement.
Congressman Ryan also cited a letter written to the Secretary on March 19th by Congressman Ryan and nineteen other members of Congress asking the Navy to take action in the procurement of tires for Sailors and Marines. To view a PDF of letter click here.