Latest Tariffs Could Increase Cost of Home Appliances
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s announcement that it will impose tariffs on another $200 billion of products imported from China will have a direct impact on home appliance manufacturers. Increasing manufacturers’ costs is likely, in many cases, to increase prices for consumers.
AHAM testified opposing tariffs for certain products, but the final tariff list still includes dozens of components and parts necessary in the manufacture of most major and small appliances and vacuum cleaners as well as numerous finished products, including, refrigerator- freezers and their parts; room and portable air conditioners; dehumidifiers; ventilation hoods and their parts; microwave oven parts; wine chillers; hair clippers and their parts; shaver parts; counter-top ovens; portable electric heaters; irons; and vacuum cleaners, floor polishers, and carpet sweepers and their parts.
Jennifer Cleary, AHAM’s vice president of regulatory affairs, stated, “As an industry, AHAM’s members have been successful global traders for decades, and support free and fair trade that allows for unfettered competition that drives innovation and operational efficiencies in the marketplace. This latest round of tariffs pulls consumers’ homes into the middle of an international trade dispute.”
Home appliances are essential to consumers’ daily lives. Americans rely on appliances every day to heat and cool their homes, maintain indoor air quality and ventilation, cook and keep food fresh, clean, and perform daily grooming.
These tariffs, in addition to the tariffs on imported steel and aluminum upon which home appliance manufacturers in the U.S. rely, are taxes. And higher prices for American consumers is the likely result of increased costs to import home appliances and the parts and materials needed to make and service them in America. American manufacturing jobs could also be lost.
“We support the administration’s goal of addressing China’s policies and practices related to intellectual property and innovation, but we continue to believe that these tariffs will not effectively do that and will instead increase consumer costs and divert company resources away from innovating and bringing new features to their customers,” said Cleary.
This latest round of tariffs took effect Sept. 24 at a rate of 10% and will increase on Jan. 1, 2019 to 25%. China announced retaliatory tariffs and, thus, it is likely that the U.S. will propose a fourth list of tariffs which could include even more home appliances.