The American Apparel & Footwear Association responded to this afternoon’s announcement that the U.S. Trade Representative will adopt an interim extension of exclusions on Section 301 tariffs on U.S. imports of “certain medical-care products.”
Many types of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as face masks, have been set to expire on Sept. 30, 2021 under the current Section 301 tariffs on U.S. imports from China; however, yesterday USTR announced that these will be extended for 45 days in order to provide time to review the public comments USTR previously requested on the exclusions.
“American hospitals – and indeed businesses in every sector – are hurting in numerous ways as the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to ravage communities throughout the country and the globe. While we are pleased to see the Administration extend these exclusions, they must be extended for much longer. COVID-19 remains a formidable foe. With a substantial portion of our population remaining unvaccinated, we need to make sure we have access to these critical life-saving PPE,” said AAFA President and CEO Steve Lamar. “We also urge the Biden administration to add reusable woven surgical and isolation gowns to the COVID-19 product exclusions list. These items were mistakenly left off the initial list but are desperately needed by hospitals and healthcare workers.”
AAFA welcomes all tariff relief and has continuously pressed the Biden administration for additional Section 301 tariff exclusions and retroactive renewal of all expired exclusions. Last week, AAFA penned a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on this issue and the simultaneous shipping crisis causing out of control freight rates, historic logjams at U.S. ports, delays and costs that are wreaking havoc on supply chains and America’s economic recovery.