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LG Raising Washer Prices 4-8%: Report

Cost increases + import tariffs = tougher sell at retail

LG Electronics is making good on its plan to raise prices on its imported washing machines.

According to a report in Korea Economic Daily that was cited by Reuters, the manufacturer is presently in talks with Best Buy, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sears and other retailers over implementing cost increases of 4-8 percent. No timetable for the price adjustments was disclosed.

See: Trump OKs Tariffs On Washers

An LG spokesperson told the wire service that the company would focus its sales efforts on premium washers carrying price points of $900 or more. The pricier models presumably draw a higher-income shopper who’s more immune to sticker shock.

The price hikes follow stiff tariffs and quota restrictions on imported domestic washers that were approved last month by President Trump.

Watch: What Trump’s Washer Tariff Means For the Laundry Room

The new rules will add 20 percent to the cost of up to 1.2 million foreign-made washers this year, and 50 percent to imports that exceed that quota. Tariffs have also been imposed on all imported washer components.

The trade sanctions were long sought by Whirlpool, which has been losing ground to LG and Samsung in the U.S. laundry market. Trump said the tariffs would defend American companies from “harmful import surges.”

Samsung said it was reviewing the situation but has not yet announced any pricing actions, Reuters reported. But some industry observers believe that LG’s price adjustments may also provide Whirlpool and GE/Haier the cover to pass along lesser cost increases of their own.