On June 15, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) identified $50 billion in Chinese imports that will be subject to a 25% tariff. The agency has published two lists of products affected by the tariff. The first list contains $34 billion worth of Chinese goods and will take effect July 6, 2018. The second list includes $16 billion in imports and will take effect at a later date following a public comment period.
The initial proposal from USTR originally included a broad range of medical goods. The revised lists now excludes items such as adhesive dressings, artificial joints, hearing aids, defibrillators, syringes, vaccines, and catheters. The decision to remove these items comes after HIDA’s Government Affairs team testified before the USTR and HIDA members participated in more than 130 meetings with key Congressional offices, educating legislators on the healthcare supply chain.
Removing medical products from the tariff list limits the overall impact to the healthcare industry. However, there are still a number of tariffed items that will affect manufacturers, distributors, and providers. These include pacemakers, lithium batteries, LEDs, optical microscopes, and anesthetic instruments. Applying tariffs to these items, without raising reimbursement for medical goods and services, risks increasing the financial burden faced by American patients to pay for their healthcare.
To learn more about the tariffs, please check out recent HIDA Government Affairs Alert. And to get involved advocating for healthcare policy that supports producers, distributors, and consumers of medical devices, please contact HIDAGovAffairs@HIDA.org.