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MedTech Industry Urges Additional Tariff Relief to Combat COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Advanced Medical Association (AdvaMed) requested the United States Trade Representative (USTR) provide additional tariff exclusions for medical devices, components and supplies coming from China needed in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We’re grateful that the Administration made the positive decision last month to lift tariffs on some crucial medical equipment coming from China, including face masks, examination gloves and surgical drapes,” said AdvaMed President and CEO Scott Whitaker. “We appreciate USTR’s willingness to consider additional tariff relief, which will help encourage further imports from China of other mission-critical products, parts and components as together we continue to battle COVID-19.”

In a letter to USTR, AdvaMed requested tariff exclusions for more than 80 medical product types and components its member companies have identified as critical for health care providers and patients in the diagnosis, containment and treatment of the pandemic, including: infection control apparel, needles/syringes, ventilator components, dialysis machines, and diagnostic testing supplies.

The association also asks that any current or future tariff exclusions be extended indefinitely or at least one year after the World Health Organization declares an end to the pandemic in order to ensure the availability of needed medical equipment and supplies once the COVID-19 crisis has passed. AdvaMed notes that, “When foreign suppliers have a choice of where to ship, the cost of sending such products to U.S. patients should be competitive with other countries that do not impose Section 301 tariffs. Inventories will need time to rebuild after COVID-19 has ended.”

Finally, AdvaMed requests USTR suspend Most Favored Nation tariffs for the group of products identified as well, stressing that with President Trump’s declaration of a COVID-19 emergency, the conditions for suspension under the Tariff Act have been met.

AdvaMed’s letter to USTR can be read here.

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AdvaMed member companies produce the medical devices, diagnostic products and health information systems that are transforming health care through earlier disease detection, less invasive procedures and more effective treatments. AdvaMed members range from the largest to the smallest medical technology innovators and companies. For more information, visit www.advamed.org.