Medical Technology Leaders Warn Imposition of Tariffs Put Patient Access and Healthcare Innovation at Risk

06.26.18

WASHINGTON – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) – the leading organization and collective voice of medical imaging equipment, radiopharmaceutical manufacturers, innovators, and product developers – notes that the a Senate Finance Committee hearing held with U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on June 20 to considered current and proposed tariff actions that could have significant ramifications for American jobs and industries, including America’s healthcare sector.

“The medical imaging device industry is hit particularly hard by the tariffs – to the tune of potentially billions of dollars,” warned Patrick Hope, Executive Director of MITA. “We have serious concerns the proposed tariffs will impede patient access to medical innovation by taxing inter-company transfers, wherein a company will manufacture component parts in China before shipping them to the U.S. for final assembly and export. And slowdowns in imaging R&D impedes patient access to higher quality health care over time. Further, under the proposed tariff environment, rather than immediately halting component manufacturing operations in China, which is unfeasible with a mature supply chain, companies  will likely evaluate the most cost-effective locales for final assembly operations, including outside of the United States.”

Lawmakers have also raised concerns about the potential impact on America’s healthcare sector– calling the industry “an American success story” in a recent letter to the U.S. Trade Representative.

“The current tariff proposal runs counter to the idea of putting American patients and some workers first,” Hope continued. “Rather than make it more difficult for our Member companies to do business in America, elected officials should be supporting the United States as the current global leader in medical imaging innovation.”

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