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How Protectionist Tariffs Stained the Washing Machine Market


(Jim Tankersley – New York Times)

You may not have appreciated it at the time — golden eras have a habit of coming and going like that — but a five-year stretch that started in 2013 was a pretty great time to buy a washing machine.

Inflation for home laundry equipment, as measured by the Labor Department, fell steadily during that time, which meant you could buy the same washer your neighbor bought last year for less money. Or you could buy a better one at the same price. Great news for your clothes, though maybe bad news for your friendship, if your neighbor was the covetous type.

That stretch of laundry deflation ended last year, shortly after President Trump imposed tariffs, starting at 20 percent, on imported washers. The move was a response to a complaint filed by Whirlpool, a Michigan-based manufacturer. Click here to read more.

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