WASHINGTON—A trade group representing tire manufacturers again is calling for economic relief from the federal government in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association is urging both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives leaders to seek passage of legislation providing that would help take the pressure off their members.
"Tire manufacturers continue to face unprecedented challenges as a result of COVID-19," USTMA CEO Anne Forristall Luke said in an April 20 statement. "USTMA urges Congress' continued leadership to ensure the American economy and manufacturing sector are well-positioned to quickly return to pre-pandemic levels in the near future and for the long term."
USTMA is seeking new rules that would create an employer-paid payroll tax holiday to suspend such payments through Sept. 30.
The association also wants tax credits for all employers providing benefits including paid leave for "emergency situations or to care for family members experiencing emergency situations."
It also is calling for "a refundable payroll tax rebate, covering eighty percent of employer payroll costs for companies of all sizes to help maintain (rather than terminate or temporarily layoff) their workforce during the COVID-19 emergency."
Other requests include "the immediate use and refundability of general business credits," delay in the payment of federal excise taxes collected by manufacturers on tire sales, and assurance that "cross-border trade—particularly within North America—is not adversely affected by policies aimed at restricting movement to contain the spread of the disease," the association said.
USTMA also wants the U.S. to work with Canada and Mexico to ensure the automotive supply chain and other industries can coordinate resumption of business.
The association represents 13 member companies that have 58 tire-related manufacturing locations in 17 states. Those companies have more than $27 billion in annual sales.
The request for the financial help was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Copies were sent to President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.