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Contact:
Wanda Moebius
202-434-7244
wmoebius@advamed.org
January 21, 2015

SOTU Reaction: AdvaMed Applauds Free Trade, Calls for Device Tax Repeal to Advance Innovation Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Stephen J. Ubl, president and CEO of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), today released the following statement in response to last evening’s State of the Union address by President Barack Obama:

“AdvaMed applauds the president’s ongoing support for international trade. U.S. medical technology manufacturers need a level playing field to retain their global leadership. We look forward to supporting a strong and ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that includes solid provisions on transparency and procedural fairness, and addresses important technical regulatory barriers. Likewise, we urge progress on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), and hope improved regulatory procedures on both sides of the Atlantic will expedite patient access to innovative medical technology. We agree with the president’s request for trade promotion authority, which will enable U.S. negotiators to bring home the best TPP and T-TIP, benefitting the U.S. and our trading partners.

“The president called for policies to help America win the race for the kinds of discoveries that unleash new jobs. Repealing the tax on medical technology is a key first step in the kind of investment in innovation the president called for last night. Repealing the device tax, like broader tax reform and expanded trade, will help create a level playing field with competitor countries and grow the number of middle-class, science-based jobs that will drive an innovation-based economy. The device tax has increased the industry’s federal tax burden by 29 percent and results in a combined tax rate of 40 percent, surely one of the highest and most uncompetitive industry tax rates in the world.

“The medical device excise tax drains funds away from investment in research and development and from job creation. At this point, the tax has little to do with the debate over the ACA: the proceeds of the tax just go into general revenues and repeal would not subtract one dime from the subsidies for the uninsured the ACA provides. The U.S. tax system clearly needs broad reform, but repeal of this special burden should be a high priority to help drive the innovation economy.”

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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.