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As Trump Weighs New Tariffs, Imports of Washers, Solar Panels Jump

(Andrew Tangel – Wall Street Journal)

Foreign makers of products including washing machines and solar panels are ramping up shipments to the U.S. ahead of government decisions on whether to erect new barriers, trade data show.

The influx of goods comes after companies including appliance giant Whirlpool Corp. and solar-panel maker Suniva Inc. asked the Trump administration in recent months to use powers under a controversial trade law that gives the president wide discretion on tariffs and quotas. The two cases are among the early tests of President Donald Trump’s “America First” trade policy and pledges to help U.S. manufacturers and factory workers.

Ships brought large residential washers to U.S. ports at more than double the previous year’s clip in November, a month after American regulators sided with Whirlpool in a dispute with South Korean rivals Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc., according to an analysis of customs and U.S. Census Bureau data from research firm Panjiva. Samsung and LG had a combined 35% share of the retail U.S. washer market last year, roughly equal to Whirlpool’s. Click here to read more.