DES MOINES, Iowa (Aug. 2)—The two sides involved in the longest strike in tire industry history had conflicting reports today regarding the dispute's potential end. Titan International Inc. announced that a tentative contract agreement with the United Steelworkers of America was reached on a new deal lasting more than five years. United Steelworkers of America Local 164 has been on strike at Titan's Des Moines farm tire plant since May 1, 1998. In a statement, Titan CEO and President Maurice Taylor Jr. said he remained cautiously optimistic regarding an agreement. "It is in everyone's best interest to conclude this matter," he said. The USWA, however, said through a spokesman that the Titan information as of Aug. 2 at 2:30 p.m. EDT was "premature and incorrect." The spokesman said talks between the two sides are ongoing and serious, but there are still "major issues outstanding."