Whirlpool, a Tariff Supporter, Now a Tariff Victim: Dear Whirlpool

Whirlpool reports an unexpected quarterly loss and also lowers guidance. A housing slowdown and tariffs are in play.

Washing-machine maker Whirlpool reports a quarterly loss, a 3.9% decline in revenue, and its shares slid 8% after hours.

That's not all: The Wall Street Journal reports Whirpool Cut Its Profit Outlook for the Year.

Whirlpool Corp trimmed its full-year profit outlook as it booked a large charge on its European operations and said it wouldn’t be able to offset the effect of steel tariffs with higher prices for consumers.

The company said Monday it now expects to pay about $350 million more this year from rising raw-material costs as it faces “a very challenging cost environment.”

A sales drop of 2.2% in North America came as Whirlpool and rivals such as Electrolux AB pushed through price increases to offset the steel tariffs and held back from big discounts during holiday sales, according to analysts. Retail prices of washers and dryers are up 20% in the latest quarter from a year earlier.

Whirlpool supported import tariffs on appliances produced overseas but much of the benefit was countered by the effect of levies on steel imports introduced earlier this year.

Dear Whirlpool

Dear Whirlpool, the next time you support tariffs think about what you ask. Moreover, think about something the WSJ failed to mention: Tapped out consumers and a slumping housing market.

Houses are already insanely unaffordable and you supported tariffs to protect your uncompetitiveness.

Care to try again?

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Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (27)
No. 1-25

With the tariffs on raw materials, the only way Whirlpool can keep their raw materials costs under control is to move manufacturing overseas.


...or source materials locally and have their purchases support local labor whilst those laborers work more to someday become home buyers who can buy Whirlpool products, etc.


The housing bubble has popped. The long hard road down is coming.

Why are washer and dryer prices up 20%? Is that all from tariffs on imported steel? I highly doubt it. The steel used could be made anywhere. Pension costs? Poor management? Insane unions?

Sounds like a convenient excuse.


"Houses are already insanely affordable" // Perhaps you meant "unaffordable"?