Area appliance stores anticipate rise in prices as tariffs on foreign goods continue to grow

MONROE, Mich. (WTVG) - From stoves and fridges to microwaves and dishwashers, almost everything in our homes is made with foreign goods. And if you're in the market for new appliances retailers say now is the time to buy.

"We're seeing a price spike coming some mid-December, some the end of December," said owner of Durocher's Appliance, Furniture and Mattress Chris Durocher.

Leaders at the downtown Monroe, Michigan store expect to see product costs go up by at least seven percent in the coming weeks.

Along with other retailers, the store attributes the looming jump to a gradual increase in tariffs placed on steel and aluminum imports.

"Even if it's an American manufacturer at least some of the parts are coming from overseas. So that's where it affects it,” said Durocher. "It's a substantial raise, but it's not the end of the world.”

At the start of 2018, President Trump placed a combined 35 percent tariff on both steel and aluminum from most countries. By summertime the president put in place even more tariffs on billions of dollars worth of imports from China in a so-called "trade war."

Now as pre-bought inventory depletes in the U.S., stores like Durocher's say they have no choice but to spike prices.

"We don't have 10 years' worth of supplies," said Durocher. "So it's going to affect it pretty soon."

While a rise in costs isn't ideal, some experts say the tariffs can be seen as a positive.

"We're seeing employment in all stages of the steel companies from Pittsburgh, for Toledo," said University of Toledo associate professor of finance Andrew Solocha.

Solocha says the tariffs help ensure high-paying manufacturing jobs stay stateside.

"We have to protect our industries that are trading with China and trading with other parts of the world," said Solocha. "So it really is protectionism."

Despite that, Solocha says it can get tricky for American companies as many still use foreign components in their products. While there's no simple answer to the country's trade game, Solocha also says the sanctions won't last forever.

In the meantime, stores like Durocher's will wait and see how much of an impact the next round of tariffs will have.

"I've seen a lot of price raises that came and didn't stick," said Durocher. "So we'll see."