Electrolux Charlotte Fights 72% Tariff on Imported Washers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Electrolux Charlotte will fight a tariff placed on its Mexican-made washers that would practically prevent the company from selling the units in the U.S.
The DOC confirmed the tariff last week, following a warning in November that it would be imposed under the World Trade Organization Anti-Dumping Agreement, according to the Charlotte Business Journal.
“Dumping” is an international price discrimination term, according to WTO, where a product’s selling price in the importing country is less than the selling price of that product in the exporting country.
The tariff would cost Electrolux about $70 million, hitting washers it manufactured in Mexico and imported into the U.S. between February 2016 and January 2017, according to media reports.
Electrolux has about 900 employees in two facilities in Charlotte, and says it plans to appeal.
"Electrolux believes that the DOC's decision lacks legal merit, because the DOC failed to provide Electrolux actual notice of the relevant documents or the necessary timeframe for response, as required by the World Trade Organization Anti-Dumping Agreement and the DOC's own internal guidelines," Electrolux spokesman Daniel Frykholm wrote in a press release.
“Electrolux will now appeal the DOC’s decision. If the tariff rate is not significantly reduced as a result of the appeal process, it could lead to a one-time cost of up to $70 million. However, Electrolux believes that the company has a very strong legal case and, at this point, will not make any provision related to this potential cost.
Tariffs on washers are the second public clash between Electrolux and the Trump Administration's trade policies in recent months. The company announced that it is now putting on hold the $250 million expansion of a plant in Tennessee due to Trump’s new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
Electrolux uses domestic steel, and said a tariff on imported steel would cause steel prices to increase across the board — both imported and domestic.
“We are putting it on hold. We believe that tariffs could cause a pretty significant increase in the price of steel on the U.S. market,” Frykholm said. "This is not the possibility of tariffs directly impacting our costs, but rather the impact it could have on the market and that it could damage the overall competitiveness of our operations in the U.S.”
Trump believes the tariffs will help American manufacturing competitiveness and ease the trade deficit.