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May 23, 2018

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IDSA Warns of Negative Impacts of U.S.-China Tariffs

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) released a draft list of over 1,300 products imported from China that would be subject to a new 25 percent tariff. The list includes tariffs on at least $3 billion of medical technologies (including vaccines, ID diagnostics, antibiotics, and components used to make these items) which were not reflected in the findings of USTR’s March 22 final report. While the U.S. government is seeking to negotiate a settlement with China before any tariffs are implemented, if those negotiations are not successful, these tariffs could go into effect as early as June for an undefined length of time.

IDSA submitted comments to the public USTR docket expressing our concerns that implementing tariffs on medical devices and products could increase health care costs, limit access to life-saving medical technology, and harm U.S. manufacturing and jobs.

While we agree it is essential to keep counterfeit diagnostic kits and other products out of the United States, we do not believe the tariffs placed on medical products in this proposal will achieve this goal. Instead, they inappropriately target many products that are important to U.S. patient safety and public health.

At a recent public hearing, various medical technology companies echoed IDSA’s concerns regarding impacts to diagnostics, antibiotics, and other medical equipment.

IDSA will continue to monitor the development of this issue and strongly encourage the removal of medical technology products from the current draft list as the process moves forward. A final product list is estimated to be released in late summer 2018. 

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