Whirlpool cuts profit outlook due to Trump tariffs after previously praising them: report

Whirlpool cuts profit outlook due to Trump tariffs after previously praising them: report
© Getty Images

Home appliances manufacturer Whirlpool cut its profit outlook this week, just months after the CEO praised President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate MORE for imposing tariffs on imported washing machines. 

"The global steel costs have risen substantially, and in particular, in the U.S., they have reached unexplainable levels," Whirpool CEO Marc Bitzer told analysts on a conference call, according to CNNMoney.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bitzer added that "uncertainty" around additional tariffs and global trade have caused problems for his company's supply chain.

A day before making the comment to analysts, Whirlpool cut its profit outlook for 2018 partly because of a "challenging cost environment," according to CNNMoney.

The news site noted that Whirlpool's stock dropped by 10 percent premarket on Tuesday after it failed to meet Wall Street's expectations. 

The statement from Bitzer comes only months after he praised Trump for imposing tariffs on imported washing machines in January, according to CNNMoney.

"This is, without any doubt, a positive catalyst for Whirlpool," Bitzer reportedly told analysts after the announcement.

But the network notes that the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum caused issues for the company. CNNMoney reports the tariffs raised costs for Whirlpool by $350 million and squeezed its profit margins. 

Whirlpool and other companies, including LG and Samsung, have raised their prices for washing machines since the tariff was implemented, CNNMoney also reported.

The network added that washing machine prices in June were up about 20 percent from this time in 2017, citing the Labor Department.

Whirlpool's sales in the U.S. fell by 2.2 percent last quarter, according to CNNMoney.