The Trump administration has granted exemptions from tariffs for a range of medical products imported from China, including face masks and medical gloves.
Among the products that won an exemption are medical masks by Medegen Medical Products, LLC., Cardinal Health exam gloves, and Medline Industries Inc.’s patient cleansing wipes.
In its request to exclude masks from the 7.5% duty, Medegen said the global production of the product is significantly limited to China, and changing to U.S. or third-country manufacturers “is not practical or competitive.”
“Additional duties on such products would cause major financial harm and increase costs to healthcare providers and their customers in the United States,” the company wrote.
President Donald Trump in September imposed a 15% tariff on roughly $112 billion in Chinese goods but cut that duty by half as part of his phase one trade deal with Beijing, which took effect Feb. 14.
The move to exclude certain Chinese imports from duties comes as the U.S. is reporting a growing number of coronavirus cases and the virus is dragging on the global economy. It also comes at the same time as some White House officials are pushing to stockpile American supplies and shift supply chains out of China.
Peter Navarro, one of Trump’s trade advisers, met last week with a group of pharmaceutical companies to discuss supply chain vulnerabilities and ways to ensure that critical parts of the pharmaceutical supply chains could move away from China — or better, back to the U.S., people familiar with the meeting said.
Navarro didn’t respond to requests for comment.
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