HIDA Government Affairs Alert

June 15, 2018

Administration’s Final List of Tariffs Released – Numerous Medical Products Successfully Removed

This morning, President Trump announced that the implementation of a 25% tariff on $50 billion in Chinese imports will in fact go forward. China has replied with their own list of 545 US farm, automobile, and seafood products. President Trump has threatened to levy additional tariffs in response.

The final list from the United States Trade Representative (USTR), published today, indicates that the $50 billion in tariffs will be applied to 818 (out of the 1,333) products that were included on the original USTR list. These products cover around $34 billion in Chinese imports and are set to take effect on July 6th, 2018. The other $16 billion in tariffs will come on an entirely new set of 284 products, which USTR says will take effect at a later date following a public comment period.

The original list of products, published by the USTR using Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, focused on a number of goods that were included in China's Made in China 2025 program – including many finished healthcare products as well as components of those products. HIDA strongly opposed the 25% tariff, and urged the USTR via both written comments and through testimony at a public hearing on May 17th that applying tariffs to any healthcare product would increase the cost of delivering quality and efficient healthcare in the United States and hinder our country’s ability to prepare and respond to public health events. In addition to HIDA's formal comments and testimony before USTR, advocacy efforts included more than 130 meetings between HIDA members and Congressional offices on Capitol Hill during the annual Capitol Hill Fly In as well as the submission of more than 70 letters from HIDA members to the USTR, all of which voiced strong opposition to the tariffs on healthcare products.

The HIDA Government Affairs team advocated for the removal of 126 items from the original proposed list of tariffs, including a broad range of products that would affect distribution both directly and indirectly. These advocacy efforts were successful in removing more than half of the specifically mentioned products from the final tariff list. The products removed from the list were those which would have most directly harmed HIDA members and their customers. While a smaller number of items remain on the final list of tariffed products, it is expected that their inclusion will have a more muted impact on the healthcare supply chain than those which were successfully removed.

HIDA was successful in advocating for the removal of products such as:

  • Pharmaceuticals including lidocaine, epinephrine, anesthetics, and vaccines
  • Malaria diagnostic test kits
  • A broad range of medicaments
  • Adhesive dressings including suture materials for wound care
  • Dental cements, fittings, dental burs and artificial teeth
  • Syringes, needles, and catheters
  • Defibrillators
  • Artificial joints and other artificial parts of the body
  • Hearing aids

Items which remain on the list with less direct impact include:

  • Lithium batteries
  • Laboratory furnaces, ovens and their parts
  • LEDs
  • Vehicles for transportation of goods
  • Stereoscopic and microscopic equipment and their parts
  • Optical microscopes
  • Anesthetic instruments
  • Pacemakers
  • X-rays and their components

HIDA Government Affairs is actively monitoring the situation and will provide updates as they become available. Please feel free to reach out with any questions at HIDAGovAffairs@HIDA.org or at 703-549-4432.