Titan International responded after reports in August of a purported training document at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company gained nationwide attention.
The training document was a slideshow that contained an image offering examples of unacceptable attire at work, including President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) slogan.
Titan CEO Paul Reitz said this: “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. 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.”
The statement went on to say that President Trump has repeatedly expressed support for U.S. manufacturers through his Buy America campaign, and Titan has long been a champion of American manufacturing, including investing heavily in legal action to protect American manufacturing jobs.
Trump called for a boycott of the tires when he learned of the slide.
“Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES—They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less!” Trump tweeted as news of the image, which was obtained from an unnamed employee, spread.
Hours later he expanded on the criticism: “I’m not happy with Goodyear. They are playing politics,” the president told reporters at the White House. “I would be very much in favor of people who don’t want to buy there.”
The training images also purportedly deemed as acceptable phrases associated with a more liberal political agenda.
Goodyear said the image “created some misconceptions” and that it was not created nor distributed by its corporate leaders.
“To be clear on our long-standing corporate policy, Goodyear has zero tolerance for any forms of harassment or discrimination,” the company said. “To enable a work environment free of those, we ask that associates refrain from workplace expressions in support of political campaigning for any candidate or political party, as well as similar forms of advocacy that fall outside the scope of racial justice and equity issues.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany suggested that the statement did little to clear up the matter, saying Goodyear needed to clarify its policy on political garb and argued that “what was clearly targeted was a certain ideology.”
Sources: Washington Post, Titan International