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  May 20th, 2024 | Written by

Biden Imposes New Tariffs on China to Boost U.S. PPE Manufacturing

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In a decisive move to bolster national security and public safety, the Biden administration has announced new tariffs on Chinese imports, particularly targeting personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies. This initiative aims to stimulate the domestic economy and protect American manufacturers and workers from the influx of low-cost Chinese products.

Read also: Biden Administration Issues Executive Order to Restrict U.S. Investment in Chinese Technology Sectors

Under the direction of President Biden, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) will implement increased tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. These tariffs, affecting $18 billion worth of Chinese imports, are intended to shield American businesses from unfair competition and reinforce the nation’s industrial base. Additional funding for US Customs and Border Protection has also been proposed to combat tariff evasion and support domestic manufacturers.

The tariff adjustments are particularly significant for the medical sector:
– Syringes and needles will see tariffs rise from 0% to 50% in 2024.
– Tariffs on PPE, including respirators and face masks, will increase from 0–7.5% to 25% in 2024.
– Rubber medical and surgical gloves will face a tariff hike from 7.5% to 25% by 2026.

The American Medical Manufacturers Association (AMMA) has praised these measures, highlighting the challenges domestic producers face against lower-priced, lower-quality Chinese imports. Eric Axel, Executive Director of AMMA, remarked, “The White House understands that domestic manufacturers face an onslaught of underpriced, subpar Chinese imports. By sidelining high-quality American manufacturers, cheap Chinese imports threaten the safety of our healthcare workers and patients.”

This policy change underscores the Biden administration’s commitment to building a resilient domestic industrial base for critical medical products, a need starkly highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. AMMA has been a staunch advocate for such reforms, recognizing their importance in ensuring public health and national security.

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai has announced a public comment period, inviting feedback on the proposed tariffs. This step is part of the administration’s ongoing efforts to engage stakeholders and refine policy to best support domestic manufacturing.

Eric Axel concluded, “The White House’s bold proclamation is significant for everyone who favors fortifying domestic PPE and medical product manufacturing. AMMA anticipates the measures announced by President Biden having a transformative impact, invigorating the domestic manufacturing base and safeguarding our nation’s health and security.”

AMMA’s advocacy has been instrumental in this policy shift, marking a new chapter in the protection and support of American medical manufacturers. The journey continues, with ongoing efforts to ensure that domestic producers have a competitive edge in the global market.