Higher Than Usual Dry Cleaning Bill? Blame Those Wire Hangers

First of all, let’s all agree that it’s impossible to read/write the phrase “wire hangers” without thinking of Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest shrieking, “NO WIRE HANGERS!” It’s those same despised devices that could cause your dry cleaning bill to go up, however, as they’re becoming more expensive. That’s enough to make anyone start shrieking.

According to CNNMoney, wire hangers are a big expense for dry cleaners and will be even more of a financial burden after the U.S. imposed new trade penalties on hangers from Vietnam last week.

The U.S. claimed that Vietnam’s government was unfairly subsidizing wire hanger exports, and announced it will impose a trade penalty of as high as 21% on the hangers.

Many dry cleaners are reliant on hangers made in Vietnam –Â the U.S. imported $31 million of Vietnamese hangers in 2011, up from $19.5 million in 2009, says the Department of Commerce. Part of the reason Vietnamese hangers are so popular are the punitive tariffs that were levied against Chinese hangers in 2008.

If dry cleaners have to pay more for those Vietnamese hangers, no doubt many will be forced to pass those costs on to customers. One business operator says she’ll have to add on about $0.30 to $0.55 to each cleaning bill to cover the expense.

Your dry cleaning bill’s about to get worse [CNNMoney]