The cost of new washers, dryers and other major appliances are surging in the wake of White House tariffs.
Prices for major appliances have jumped 8.1 percent in the past 12 months, with all of the increase coming since April, according to a government index that tracks consumer prices.
The only other period when prices have risen faster was briefly in 2012, based on government records going back 20 years.
Already, several major producers such as Whirlpool, Bosch and Electrolux have announced price increases .Before President Trump began to impose trade restrictions in the spring, the price of appliances had fallen each year since 2013.
Tariffs on steel, aluminum and other products needed in the production of appliances explain some of the cost increase.
What’s more, the U.S. slapped a 20 percent tariff directly on foreign-made washers to combat what it considers dumping selling products below the cost to make them. Prices for laundry-related appliances have risen an even sharper 10 percent in the past 12 months.
The tariffs mostly hit Korean makers LG and Samsung. They are set to rise to 50 percent next year.
Not every customer looking to buy a new appliance will pay higher prices, of course. Savvy consumers should look to buy during holiday promotions, such as the upcoming Black Friday sale, and take advantage of rebates.
The attempt to raise prices could also run into resistance from wholesalers and consumers, forcing manufacturers to back down. For decades, appliance makers have had little success in raising prices owing to stiff global competition. — Market Watch