HIDA, AHCA/NCAL Request Extension On Tariff Exemptions For Critical Healthcare Products

Associations representing healthcare distributors and post-acute care providers also ask USTR to address transportation-related tariffs hobbling the supply chain

Alexandria, VA – September 30, 2021 - The Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA) and the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) asked the U.S. Trade Representative this week for an extension of current healthcare product exclusions from tariffs.

The tariff exclusion was set to expire September 30. This week, USTR announced it would extend the exclusions until mid-November. HIDA and AHCA encourage marketplace certainty and support permanent tariff exclusions for these products. “If permanent exemptions are impossible, we urge USTR to extend the current medical products exclusions through the declared public health emergency,” the associations urged in a letter. (Read the letter here .)

They continued: “Healthcare distributors are working around the clock to source reliable, affordable products to meet increased demand for the lifesaving personal protective equipment (PPE) frontline healthcare workers are using to combat COVID-19. Simultaneously, the healthcare supply chain is ramping up for flu season. The compounding events add pressure to an already strained medical supply chain.”

HIDA and AHCA/NCAL also recommend the USTR consider lifting tariffs on chassis – the trailers that transport shipping containers. “Transportation disruptions have become a healthcare issue. The medical supply chain relies on predictable transport to communicate product availability and delivery to providers. The nation’s transportation disruptions have severely limited reliable and timely movement of medical products,” the letter states.

About Health Industry Distributor's Association (HIDA)–HIDA members distribute items used in everyday medical services and procedures, ranging from gauze and gloves to diagnostic laboratory tests and capital equipment. The existing commercial distribution channel serves the nation’s 6,000 hospitals, 44,500 nursing homes and assisted living facilities, 230,000 physician offices, 267,000 laboratories and 12,200 home health agencies. Collectively, HIDA members manage 76 million square feet of warehouse space. Medical product distributors process 650 million orders annually for their healthcare provider customers and carry over 550,000 FDA-approved products from 5,500 medical manufacturer partners.

About American Health Care Association (AHCA)
–As the nation’s largest association of long term and post-acute care providers, AHCA advocates for quality care and services for frail, elderly, and disabled Americans. Our members provide essential care to approximately one million individuals in 14,000 not-for-profit and proprietary member facilities. AHCA represents the long-term care community to the nation at large – to government, business leaders, and the public. We serve as a force for change, providing information, education, and administrative tools that enhance quality at every level.  As part of our extensive portfolio of member services, AHCA maintains legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Our dedicated staff work both internally and externally to assist member providers, the government, and the general public.

Media Contact:
Wyeth Ruthven

Wyeth Ruthven
Public Affairs Director