Haier pull GE from China

Haier Group, the parent company of Louisville-based GE Appliances, has suspended plans to sell products made in the U.S. in China.

The Financial Times reports that the Qingdao, China-based company cited the deepening trade war between the U.S. and China. Haier acquired GE Appliances for $5.4 billion in 2016, and it planned to begin selling its kitchen products in China in November, according to the report.

Earlier this week, the U.S. imposed levies on $200 billion of Chinese goods, and China responded by imposing tariffs of $60 billion on U.S. imports.

“Originally, there was no problem [importing from the U.S.] but now there may be problems,” Zhang Ruimin, Haier’s chief executive, told the Financial Times. “I think Chinese consumers are most interested in [GE] kitchen products. But the U.S. government thought differently.”

The products would have been aimed at affluent consumers, according to the report. Haier already had begun promoting GE Appliances products in China ahead of a planned launch at a trade expo in Shanghai.

Zhang told the Financial Times that most of Haier’s U.S. sales are goods made in the U.S. by GE Appliances, so the company won’t be heavily affected by the U.S. tariffs.

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