The AHA sent a letter June 28 to the U.S. Trade Representative responding to a proposed increase in Section 301 tariffs for goods produced in China, which would include health care products. AHA explained some of the challenges in relying on tariffs to bolster the supply chain, especially for goods that were uniquely designed for safety or that would require significant internal steps to enable a safe change for the current product to one that came from a different manufacturer, such as the additional fit testing that would need to be done with a different manufacturer of N95 respirators. The AHA urged the USTR to only impose tariffs if it demonstrates sufficient manufacturing capacity outside of China to make choices among manufacturers a credible option. USTR was also urged to consider the impact of tariffs on hospitals and other providers already under financial stress, and to limit the number of products affected by tariffs or the amount of tariffs to diminish additional financial strain, and to work with the Food and Drug Administration and health care supply leaders to identify products for which a change in manufacturer would burden hospitals and other providers or would incentivize the use of less safe goods. Such goods would be excluded from the tariff.

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