After a Goodyear Tire & Rubber training session allegedly discussed a ban on Make America Great Again hats and other political attire as part of a new dress code, President Donald Trump took to Twitter calling on his followers to boycott the Ohio-based manufacturer, saying that there are better tires available on the market for far less. Goodyear itself soon replied, stating that the policy directive didn’t come from the corporate level.
Trump’s tweet was made after a Goodyear employee posted a photo purportedly showing a slide during a company training that indicated Black Lives Matter and LBGT pride apparel were “acceptable” and that “Blue Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” “MAGA Attire,” and other political material were “unacceptable.”
Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES – They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!).
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2020
Titan International Inc., the manufacturer of Titan Tires, Titan Wheels and Goodyear Farm Tires, recognizing that this could impact the company’s business, released a statement in response.
“Wednesday morning, we learned of the news being shared about Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s reported diversity training and felt it was important to make clear that Titan is in no way connected to the training in question,” said Titan CEO Paul Reitz. “While Titan has licensing rights to design, produce and sell the Goodyear Farm Tires brand, we are an entirely separate publicly held entity under separate management and have no shared staff or facilities with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.”
Trump has repeatedly expressed support for U.S. manufacturers through his “Buy America” campaign, and Titan has long-been a champion of American manufacturing and has invested heavily in legal action to protect American manufacturing jobs. Titan said in its statement that, in this respect, Trump and Titan are well-aligned in protecting the more than 2,100 Americans employed by Titan in multiple manufacturing facilities across Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Tennessee who work on Goodyear Farm Tires and the other Titan brands.
Titan has also played a vital role as an essential service during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. When others shut down, Titan ensured safe operation to keep America’s workforce working with the equipment they need to do their jobs.
In addition to Titan’s employee numbers, Titan and Goodyear Farm Tires are sold at nearly 2,000 local dealers across the country.
“A misguided movement to cancel Goodyear Farm Tires — manufactured and sold by a completely separate company from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company — could adversely affect thousands of additional hard-working family-owned tire businesses across the country,” the company said.