The pressure cooker that flew off shelves last Black Friday is getting pulled into the trade war.
The price of the popular Instant Pot would increase nearly $38 to $187.44 if the latest proposed 25% tariff on Chinese imports goes into effect, parent company Corelle Brands said in a letter to the U.S. trade representative. That means essentially the full cost of the tariff would be passed along.
The company said the higher prices were “an unfair consequence” of the trade tensions because targeting electric multi-cookers “will in no way assist the [trade representative] in its policy goals against China.”
Corelle, which makes Pyrex and other kitchen products, agreed to merge with Instant Pot’s owner, Instant Brands Inc., earlier this year.
The company is joining the chorus of corporate voices that have come out against the tariffs on $300 billion of goods that could go into effect as early as next month. Boardriders Inc., which makes Quiksilver and Billabong apparel, said new tariffs could threaten its ability to make debt payments, and J.C. Penney Co. warned that the levies on clothing would have a disproportionate effect on women.
Corelle said that it was unaware of a domestic producer of electric multi-cookers and that there are “no other viable options” for shifting production to another country.
Corelle also argued that its cookers should be exempt from tariffs because they do not use intellectual property that could be stolen by the Chinese government. In fact, some of the intellectual property used to make the cookers is owned by Chinese manufacturers, meaning they wouldn’t need to steal any trade secrets to access it, according to the letter.
“The Chinese government is not interested in Corelle’s technology,” the company said.