Sen. Brown Announces New Federal Resources for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. to Develop New, Natural Rubber Tires and Bioenergy from Guayule Plant

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, in Hancock County, has been awarded a $6,854,213 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Biomass Research and Development Initiative. Cooper Tire & Rubber, the lead partner in a consortium consisting of two universities, three areas of the USDA, and five companies, will use these funds to study the use of the guayule plant as a major source of natural rubber.

“By investing in American manufacturers, like Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, we can drive a new generation of smart economic growth and energy independence while creating new jobs throughout the manufacturing supply chain,” Brown said.

                                                                                       

In June 2009, Brown testified before the ITC in support of rubber tire workers in Findlay who were being undermined by a flood of Chinese imports dumped into the U.S. Following his testimony, the ITC ruled on behalf of tire workers, and President Obama announced that he would enforce "Section 421" trade safeguards that protect American manufacturers from excessive imports. After the ruling, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company announced plans to add capacity to its Findlay tire plant; Brown visited with Cooper Tire workers last summer to celebrate the expansion.

In October 2011, Brown wrote a letter to the UDSA requesting full and fair consideration of Cooper Tire’s application for funding. The text of the letter is below.

October 24, 2011

 

Ms. Carmela Bailey

USDA-NIFA

800 9th Street SW

Mailstop 2210

Washington, DC 20250-2210

 

RE: USDA-NIFA-9008-003540 “Securing the Future of Natural Rubber-An American tire and

        bioenergy platform from Guayule

 

 

Dear Ms. Bailey:

 

As the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture considers applications for the Biomass Research Development Initiative, I would like to bring to your attention a proposal submitted by Cooper Tire & Rubber Company of Findlay, Ohio.

 

Grant funds would be used by Cooper Tire, the lead partner in a consortium consisting of two universities, three areas of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and five companies, to study the use of the guayule plant as a major source of natural rubber.

 

The impact of the guayule plant on our nation’s manufacturing, farming and alternative fuel industries has the potential to be tremendous. By investing in American manufacturers, like Cooper Tire, we can drive a new generation of smart economic growth and energy independence while creating new jobs throughout the manufacturing supply chain.

 

Please give full and fair consideration to Cooper Tire’s application for funding.  I ask that you keep my office informed of the status of this application.

 

                                                                                                Sincerely,

                                                                                                Sherrod Brown

                                                                                                United States Senator

 

 

 

 

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