What do new U.S. tariffs on washing machines mean for HPN Select members?

On Tuesday, January 23, 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order levying new import tariffs on washing machines, washing machine parts, and solar panels. The administration announced that for each of the first two years, it will impose a 20% tariff on the first 1.2 million imported large residential washing machines, while there will be a 50% tariff on machines above that number. This will drop to 16% and 40% respectively in the third and following years. There will also be a 50% tariff on washing machine parts.

So what does this mean for HPN Select, and their vendor partner, Whirlpool? Goldman Sachs forecasts an 8% to 20% increase in the price of a new washing machine from international suppliers such as Samsung and LG (LG announced on Wednesday that they will be raising prices on all washing machines by roughly $50).

But for customers of Whirlpool, who manufacture all washing machines in the U.S., there is likely to be minimal to no effect on pricing. HPN Select members should be wary of purchasing appliaces outside of the HPN Select contract with Whirlpool. Other partners such as HD Supply and Wilmar carry appliances made by companies such as Frigidaire, who manufacture their washing machines in Juarez, Mexico, and Electrolux, who do much of their manufacturing in Europe, and as a result may see rising prices.

The one caveat to this is if domestic manufacturers such as Whirlpool and GE source some parts for their machines overseas, there is the possibility that costs for their machines could also slightly rise, just not as dramatically as their overseas competitors. HPN Select is currently working on collecting further information from Whirlpool about any sourcing of overseas parts.