Trump’s Tariffs Negatively Affect the U.S. Medical Industry

The Trump administration’s first set of tariffs, which will affect about $800 million worth of imported medical devices and components, will be imposed on July 6, 2018.

According to Minnesota’s Star Tribune, for many Minnesota medtech companies, China is the largest global buyer of U.S. medical devices and optical supplies. Minnesota has exported close to $200 million of medical goods to China in the first three months of 2018. Also, given the 25% additional tariffs on imported goods that will go into effect on July 6, many medtech companies in Minnesota will have to bear the higher cost of importing components such as batteries and LED products from China.

AdvaMed’s International Executive Vice President, Ralph Ives, wrote on May 10 that “imposing higher tariffs on medical technology imports from China will not help U.S. competitiveness or achieve the president’s objective for our industry.” Shaye Mandle, CEO of the Medical Alley Association, said an escalation of the trade fight will make it harder for companies here to do business in China. The tariffs will raise the cost on Chinese-made imports, including X-ray machines, batteries, pacemakers, and dialysis systems.

Besides tariffs, the new Trump policy will also target China’s investments in the U.S.’s high technology products, including medical technology. This will hurt medtech companies seeking Chinese capital to grow. However, on June 27, Trump dropped this new investment restriction—to the delight of most medtech companies here.