Electrolux Freezes Plant Expansion Due to Tariff Talk

March 5, 2018
Electrolux put on hold plans to invest $250 million in its Springfield, Tenn., plant

A major appliance manufacturer's plans to invest $250 million to add 400,000 square feet to its Springfield, Tenn., plant were put on hold Friday after President Trump announced his intentions to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum.

Electrolux has a substantial footprint in Tennessee with factories in Springfield and Memphis. Earlier this year the company announced construction of a 400,000-square foot expansion and modernization of the Springfield plant to streamline production and manufacture Fridgidaire products.

The expansion, part of a total 3-project, $295 million investment in the Springfield area, was set to begin later this year and be complete in 2020.

According to the Tennessean, Electrolux spokesperson Eloise Hale said, "Unfortunately, this decision gives foreign appliance manufacturers a cost advantage that is hard to compete against."

In a statement to Reuters, Daniel Frykholm, another company spokesperson, said executives believed the tariffs could "cause a pretty significant increase in the price of steel on the U.S. market," and "could damage the overall competitiveness of (Electrolux's) operations in the U.S."

Electrolux employs 9,800 workers in the U.S. and more than 55,000 people worldwide, according to its website.

In January, Electrolux had announced plans to invest $6 billion in the U.S., including another $250 million facility expansion in Anderson, South Carolina. No word if that project will be put on hold.