ORLANDO, Fla. — Buying a washer machine or refrigerator is a big purchase with big price tags.

  • Tariffs on steel and aluminum introduced last year
  • Prices for some household appliances up $50 to $100 
  • Stores say rising prices are just the beginning

But prices for some of those major appliances have increased by about 20 percent in the last year, in part because of steel and aluminum tariffs President Trump introduced in the beginning of last year.

These tariffs were introduced as part of trade negotiating tactics against countries like South Korea and China.


In fact, in the past 18 months, some household appliances have increased anywhere from $50 to $100 because of these tariffs.

“Little by little, the prices are creeping up,” said Stu Kimball, the owner of Southeast Steel Appliance Warehouse. “The manufacturers can only absorb so much and at some point they pass it on to us, and we don’t work on large margins, so we have to pass it on to the end-user.”

In the last year and a half, Kimball’s store has had to raise prices to keep up with increases from appliance companies.

Kimball believes this could just be the beginning.

“We’re gonna say, hey look, now is the time to buy because the prices are going to go up',” Kimball said. “These tariffs are going to effect it and we have to pass it on.”

To battle these rising tariffs, companies like LG are building more and factories in the U.S. LG just opened up a new factory in Tennessee, which will make 1 million washers a year.

But for other companies producing overseas, rising tariffs also means higher prices the next time you go shopping.

Interestingly, dryers are not made in the same factories, or in some instances, the same countries as washing machines. However, because most people buy a washer and a dryer at the same time, prices have steadily increased for those as well.

President Trump announced a new 5 percent tariff on products from Mexico last month. Those tariffs are set to go into effect June 10.