America’s medical technology industry creates life-saving and life-enhancing treatments and cures that drive efficiencies and cost savings in the health care system while generating high-quality jobs that contribute to economic growth. Through direct and indirect employment, America’s medtech industry accounts for nearly 2 million U.S. jobs. The U.S. medical device industry is also one of the few American manufacturing industries with a positive balance of trade, with export revenue of about $42 billion. Markets outside the U.S. continue to promise significant opportunities for growth – with an ever-expanding worldwide elderly population and emerging market populations increasingly insisting on the best-available health care for their families. However, expanded overseas access to the best in American medical innovation will continue to depend in part on development, approval and enforcement of free trade agreements that help provide a level playing field for American companies abroad.
The medical technology industry supports a vigorous trade policy to support export growth, including bipartisan legislation to modernize and renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). TPA is designed to strengthen the administration’s ability to negotiate trade agreements with foreign countries, based on goals and priorities set by Congress, and to help make sure that key free-trade agreements – including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) – come to fruition.
Through TPP, T-TIP and other free-trade agreements, we seek to improve patient access to medtech, reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers while helping to maintain our industry’s status as a net exporter. These agreements can also help encourage foreign governments to establish regulatory and payment systems that are fair, transparent, nondiscriminatory and based on international best practices, to help ensure patient access to innovation worldwide. Such policies help American companies create more good-paying jobs right here at home.
AdvaMed’s team of international policy experts works with U.S. and foreign health care and government officials, and organizations like the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the World Health Organization and other international medical technology associations, to implement regulatory, reimbursement and trade practices that are fair, transparent and predictable.
Our recent efforts have included working with policymakers, lawmakers and allies in the U.S. and overseas to advance free-trade priorities in particular. This includes working with the medical technology industry’s grassroots liaisons to marshal support for the TPA bill. As a result, member company employees have used AdvaMed software to more easily create and submit letters to their elected representatives on behalf of TPA, and our efforts have been bolstered by employees of member companies with their own grassroots systems.