A consequence of imposing trade tariffs on washing machines, besides raising prices to consumers, may be to stifle innovation ["Trump's high-risk reversal of 70 years of trade progress," Business, Jan. 28]. In any industry, a primary factor in driving innovation is competition. Any stroll through a store home-appliance section reveals that many advanced features found in home appliances are found in imported brands. In fact, the inability to keep up with competitive product technology may be more of a motivation to request relief than price competition.
By going down this "protectionist" path, the domestic home-appliance industry may find itself where the U.S. automobile industry found itself in the 1980s, with outdated, non-competitive products.
James Markell, Waynesboro, Pa.