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LG will increase washing machine prices due to US tariffs

The US subsidiary of South Korea's LG Electronics warned retailers on Wednesday that it will raise prices of its washing machines following import duties imposed by the Trump administration this week.

It was the first concrete reaction to the trade measures announced this week that have angered US trading partners.

“As a result of the trade situation, we will be initiating pricing actions,” Thomas Yoon, executive vice president of home appliances for LG Electronics USA, said in a letter to retailers.

He said the amount of the price increases would be detailed in separate letters to the stores. The Wall Street Journal reported the price hike would be about $50 on some washer/dryer combinations. 

President Donald Trump put his “America First” doctrine into action on Tuesday by imposing duties of 20 to 50 percent on large washing machines manufactured in China, South Korea, Mexico, and Vietnam, in addition to tariffs on solar panels imported from China.

Seoul has said it plans to take the issue to the World Trade Organization, while Beijing expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with the move adopted to protect US manufacturers. 

But LG assured its retailers that supplies of the appliances would not be disrupted.

“While this is disappointing news, let me assure you that we have planned for this possibility so we can minimize any disruption in supply of LG washers and dryers to you, our valued partners,” Yoon wrote. 

The South Korean company recently completed construction of a washing machine factory in Clarksville, Tennessee, which is expected to start production in the fourth quarter. DM

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