March 2, 2018 / 12:40 PM / 9 months ago

Electrolux puts $250 million U.S. investment on hold over Trump tariff hike

FILE PHOTO - The Electrolux logo is seen during the IFA Electronics show in Berlin, Germany September 4, 2014. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden’s Electrolux (ELUXb.ST), Europe’s largest home appliance maker, said on Friday it would delay a planned $250 million investment in Tennessee, after U.S. President Donald Trump announced tariffs on imported aluminum and steel.

On Thursday, Trump said the duties — 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum — would be formally announced next week, although White House officials later said some details still needed to be ironed out.

“We are putting it on hold. We believe that tariffs could cause a pretty significant increase in the price of steel on the U.S. market,” Electrolux spokesman Daniel Frykholm said.

Electrolux buys all the steel it uses in its U.S. products domestically.

“So this is not the possibility of tariffs directly impacting our costs, but rather the impact it could have on the market and that it could damage the overall competitiveness of our operations in the U.S.,” Frykholm said.

The company is waiting to see the final details of the U.S. plans before making a final decision, he said.

Electrolux had said in January it would invest $250 million to expand and modernize its plant in Springfield, Tennessee.

Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Jason Neely and Peter Graff

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