Foreign Washing Machines
Name: Wai-Yan Htat Aung
February 7, 2018
According to Ana Swanson and Brad Plumer, "
WASHINGTON — President Trump slapped steep tariffs on imports of
washing machines and solar energy cells and panels on Monday, the first
major step by the administration to erect the kind of trade barriers Mr.
Trump has frequently said are necessary to protect manufacturers in the
The twin announcements came after a year of tough rhetoric — but little
action — on curbing imports of cheap products from countries like China and
White House advisers warned that additional trade measures related to steel,
aluminum and other products from China could be coming, a signal that Mr.
Trump is ratcheting up the protectionist policies he has long espoused as part
of his “America First” approach.
The imposition of tariffs will most likely exacerbate trade tensions with other
nations, including China, and could result in an escalation of retaliatory trade
measures against imports from the United States. Both China and South
Korea harshly criticized the move, with both suggesting they could take their
complaints to the World Trade Organization, which settles trade disputes
The decisions also seemed poised to ignite a wave of similar trade cases from
other American companies, which might be encouraged by Mr. Trump’s
Protectionism was a defining theme of the populist presidential campaign in
which Mr. Trump gleefully rebuffed the longstanding Republican embrace of
free and open markets. Upon taking office, Mr. Trump pulled out of the
Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-country trade deal, and threatened other
actions, including a withdrawal from the North American Free Trade
Agreement and the imposition of tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. He
has yet to make good on any of those threats.
Instead, the White House took action on imports of washing machines and
solar products based on requests by companies who said their operations in
the United States were being harmed by imports.
Whirlpool Inc. appealed to the White House for help in curbing washing
machine imports from its Korean competitors, while two solar companies,
Suniva Inc. and SolarWorld Americas, said imports of cheap solar cells and
modules were similarly putting their companies at risk.
While the tariffs were welcomed by the companies that sought them,
economists warned the levies could drive up prices for consumers and hurt
some American businesses. The solar industry has been split over the tariffs;
companies that develop large-scale solar farms, as well as purchasers of solar
power such as retailers and tech companies,
opposed the tariffs over concerns
that they would cost them more money and make solar power less
competitive with other energy sources, at least in the short term.
Abigail Ross Hopper, the president of the Solar Energy Industries
Association, which opposed the...