Tariffs’ Complex Ripple Effects Hit Appliance Shoppers And Makers



Alina Selyukh | NPR

It was a daunting task. Amid a major renovation, Jani Mussetter needed a lot of appliances: a washer, dryer, refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher and stove. As she visited showrooms in January, a stressful thing kept coming up: warnings of a price increase on Feb. 1.

For Mussetter, shopping for higher end appliances, that potentially meant paying hundreds of dollars more. And why? “They said, because of all the tariffs,” the San Francisco resident says.

Tariffs and the trade war have been in the news for more than a year, since President Trump began imposing higher taxes on various imported products and materials.

For regular American shoppers, major household appliances perfectly illustrate the complicated reality of the trade dispute. One tariff was a boon to some domestic manufacturers. But other tariffs hiked costs for the entire industry worldwide. Prices on appliances are now slowly recovering from their biggest increase in about five years.

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