Escalating trade war could mean higher prices for appliances, furniture

WICHITA, Kan. In the long run, President Donald Trump and supporters of his trade policy, placing steep tariffs on Chinese imports, say it will lead to a better deal for the United States.

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At least for now, the escalating trade war is causing difficulties for farmers and American consumers. Talks between the U.S. and China broke down a couple weeks ago and both sides have increased tariffs with more likely on the horizon.

The tariff hike could mean higher prices for household appliances and furniture as many of those products are made in China, or use parts from overseas.

Tuesday, Eyewitness News spoke with a Wichita appliance dealer to find out how you can avoid being hit with higher prices.

If you're in the market for a new refrigerator, washer, dryer or stove, you should buy it now. That's the advice from Lytton's Appliance owner Bob Finn ahead of potential price increases caused by tariff hikes on Chinese goods.

"Usually now around Memorial Day and July 4 weekends are the manufacturers promote products, so the prices are lower now anyhow," Finn says.

So far, Finn says he has not received a notice from any manufacturers about price increases. He says most of the brands Lytton's sells in store are made in the U.S., but it's possible some of the parts used are from China.

If so, those products could be impacted by escalating trade war.

"I don't know exactly what the tariff is going to be on, whether it's going to be on steel -- you know if it's on steel, then that will impact probably all brands because that's a major component of appliances," Finn says.

He says if manufacturers are forced to increase prices, it could deter customers from purchasing new appliances, at least for a while.

But for now, he says Lyttons' prices will stay steady until they hear otherwise.