2 Nov 2009

Tyre prices tipped to stay flat

8:08 am on 2 November 2009

The price of some tyres in New Zealand is tipped to stay flat or drop, due to a piece of protectionism by United States President Barack Obama.

Mr Obama has placed 35% tariffs on imported tyres from China, leaving manufacturers to look for new markets and increasing competition.

The temporary tariff has been introduced after sustained American union lobbying to safeguard rubber workers' jobs.

Bill Donaldson, of New Zealand wholesaler Value Tyres, says he is being bombarded with offers - particularly for budget brands.

The Motor Trade Association predicts that prices will stay stable or come down.

Tyre imports will increase when the Bridgestone tyre factory closes in Christchurch before Christmas, marking the end of tyre production in New Zealand.