Electrolux Halts Tennessee Project, Blames Tariff Action

'Unfortunately, this decision gives foreign appliance manufacturers a cost advantage'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 5, 2018 12:00 AM CST
Updated Mar 5, 2018 12:25 AM CST
Electrolux Halts Tennessee Project, Blames Tariff Action
This Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, file photo, shows Electrolux's plant in Memphis, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz, File)

Electrolux says its plans for a $250 million plant expansion in Tennessee are on hold, and the Swedish appliance maker is pointing to President Trump's tariff action as the reason, the AP reports. The company's investment plans, announced in January, included modernizing and adding 400,000 square feet to the plant in Springfield. Construction was slated to begin later this year. Electrolux is citing Trump's announcement of new tariffs on imported aluminum and steel. "Unfortunately, this decision gives foreign appliance manufacturers a cost advantage that is hard to compete against," Electrolux spokeswoman Eloise Hale said in a statement to the Tennessean. Hale said the company is still evaluating the recent tariff announcement, but is so concerned about the potential financial impact that it put the Springfield project on hold until Trump's order is signed and final details are clear.

All of the carbon steel the company uses in its US manufacturing plants comes from American steel mills, Hale said. The company has multiple factory locations in Tennessee, including Springfield and Memphis. Last year, company officials began a $20 million expansion in Springfield that would simplify operations at the manufacturing plant. It was a project that overlapped a larger $25 million expansion announced in 2016, bringing its local investment in recent years to nearly $300 million. Crews are still working on the 2017 project, set to be completed in 2019, but the 2016 project that added 25 jobs and 25,000 square feet to the facility has been completed, Hale said.

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