Tariffs – International Trade Policy


On April 4th, 2018 the Administration released a list of Chinese imports that would be subject to a new, 25% tariff as a result of an investigation conducted under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The new Section 301 tariffs would apply to over 1,300 Chinese imports. Among those listed are a number of products that healthcare providers rely on to conduct ongoing healthcare procedures and respond to public health events.

What Members Need to Know

The inclusion of healthcare products in the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Section 301 proposed tariff policy will 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.

A significant number of medical products critical to everyday procedures, lifesaving surgeries, as well as products used for broad public health preparedness efforts are made outside of the United States. It is important for both Congress and the Administration to understand the complexities of the U.S. healthcare supply chain, so tariffs and trade policies do not create unintentional supply chain disruptions and product shortages


On June 20, 2018, the USTR announced a final list of tariffs which applied to 818 out of the 1,333 products that were included on the original proposed list. A 25% tariff on these products is in effect as of July 6th, 2018. In a notice published on August 16, 2018, the USTR determined to take additional action and add 25% tariffs to another list of products, which went into effect on August 23, 2018.

Most recently, on September 17, 2018, the USTR finalized tariffs on approximately $200 billion of Chinese imports. With the help of its members, HIDA was able to remove 120 products across all three lists, including syringes, medical gloves, hospital bedsheets and certain wipes. The additional tariffs went into effect on September 24, 2018. The USTR published a process for seeking exemptions from the tariffs—the determinations will be on a product by product basis and final decisions on exemptions will be published periodically. HIDA Government Affairs will continue to monitor the situation and work with partners in Congress and at USTR to work toward the common goal of keeping healthcare products affordable.

Recent Activity

Mary Beth Spencer»
Manager, Government Affairs