Supporters of the Retread Instead coalition lobbied lawmakers and regulators on behalf of the retreading industry on June 20, 2018.
The group of seven retreading industry leaders were participating in the Tire Industry Association’s (TIA) 2018 federal lobby day.
Retread Instead supporters began the day at the American Trucking Associations office with a federal agency briefing that included several representatives from the Department of Transportation.
The group then went to the Russell, Dirksen and Hart Senate office buildings where TIA had pre-arranged appointments. Retread Instead supporters had 30-minute meetings with staff at the following Senator offices; Lamar Alexander (R - TN), Bob Corker (R - TN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D - NY), Tim Kaine (D - VA), Rand Paul (R - KY), Marco Rubio (R - FL) and Mark Warner (D - VA).
The group ran at an incredible pace to meet the tight schedule, according to Ron Elliott, marketing and communications manager for Marangoni Tread North America Inc. and Retread Instead spokesperson.
Although the faces and offices changed, the message to maintain a full complement of commissioners at the United States International Trade Commission at all times stayed the same.The group also emphasized the need for a tariff on commercial truck and bus tires that are imported from China and stressed the economic and environmental benefits of retreading as opposed to the “one and done” tires that end up in our landfills.
“We were met at each meeting with enthusiasm and a thirst for additional knowledge of what retreading is and how it benefits our economy as well as the environment,” says Elliott.
“Our goal was to garner support and momentum for our cause and that we did! At each office we gained additional contacts and information that will help us concentrate our efforts towards the Senate Finance committee where at this time the nominees are waiting in que to be approved prior to moving on to the Senate for a full vote.”
Gene Walker of Premier Rubber Co. noted that it was imperative to point out in every meeting that retreading is recycling and 100% of the waste stream generated by retreading a tire is recycled into value added products.
For example, retreading a tire provides 10-13 pounds of raw material for children's playground safety surfaces. “With a limited supply available due to the reduction in retreading because of the influx of cheap Chinese nonretreadable tires, this translates to a higher cost and lower quality alternative being used. We learned firsthand what it takes to change anything in Washington and were given the right direction to pursue,” says Walker.
The day wrapped up with a reception in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Room at the Rayburn House office building. Retread Instead had a table with product and literature on display that represented retreading and related industries for the senators, congressman, and staff that attended to view. The reception’s keynote address was given by Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD-5).
The Retread Instead supporters at TIA’s lobby day were:
- Jeffrey Parks-California /Retread Tire Association;
- Terry Westhafer-Virginia/Central Tire;
- Bob Majewski-Kentucky/Sumerel Tire;
- Ron Elliott-Tennessee/Marangoni Tread;
- Dexter Matthews-North Carolina/Liberty Tire Recycling;
- Gail Walker-New York/Premier Rubber Co.;
- Gene Walker-New York/Premier Rubber Co.; and
- Lazaro Gonzalez-Florida/Rubber Designs.
Retread Instead says it supports imposing tariffs on commercial Chinese truck and bus tires that are imported into the United States because China is a “non-market economy” that dumps low quality non-retreadable truck tires into the U.S below fair market value, thus undermining the retread industry.
For more information about Retread Instead, go to www.retreadinstead.net.