Sending Office: Honorable Anna G. Eshoo
Sent By:

        Request for Signature(s)

Section 301 Tariffs Will Harm Public Health Preparedness Capabilities

DEADLINE EXTENDED: COB Wednesday July 17th 

Current signers: Reps. Bilirakis, Pappas, Stivers, and Sewell 

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to join us in writing to Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, expressing concerns about the impact of recently proposed Section 301 tariffs on our nation’s public health preparedness capabilities.

On May 17th the United States Trade Representative (USTR) proposed tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional $300 billion in goods imported from China under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The list includes several medical products that
are critical to our nation’s public health preparedness capabilities. Our letter expresses concerns that these tariffs will drive up costs for these products and potentially limit supply, harming healthcare workers, first responders and patients. The letter
asks Secretary Azar to request that the USTR remove these critical products from the proposed tariff list.

If you have any questions or would like to sign on, please contact Matt McMurray with Rep. Eshoo at or Rob Hicks with Rep. Brooks at   



Anna G. Eshoo                                   Susan W. Brooks
Member of Congress                          Member of Congress


July xx, 2019

The Honorable Alex M. Azar II, Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Dear Secretary Azar,

We write to express our concerns regarding the impact of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) recently proposed tariffs on our nation’s preparedness capabilities. We ask the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to carefully review the list of
medical products on the proposed tariff list and give full consideration to the risks these tariffs pose to preparedness and availability of product when determining exemption requests to USTR.

The USTR’s recent Federal Register notice proposes tariffs of up to 25 percent on approximately $300 billion worth of goods imported from China (“List 4”), pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. List 4 includes the following critical medical products:

  1. Glove HTS codes: 3926.20.10 and 3926.20.40 and 4015.19.05
  2. Gowns HTS codes: 6210.10.50 and 6217.10.95
  3. Drapes HTS codes: 3926.90.99 and 6307.90.60 and 6307.90.68
  4. Procedure masks HTS code: 6307.90.98
  5. Shoe covers HTS code: 6307.90.89 and 6307.90.98
  6. Wipes HTS codes: 3401.19.00

We are concerned that tariffs will negatively impact our nation’s public health preparedness capabilities. It will also create a safety risk for healthcare providers, first responders and patients. The U.S. healthcare system depends on a global and complex
supply chain and China is a top source of these critical health care products and virtually the only source for some products such as gloves. 

The medical products identified on USTR’s list are used both in every day medical care and for any public health event from Ebola to seasonal influenza. Ebola is once again a concern in Africa and the supply chain is now preparing for the upcoming flu season.
Previous epidemics have resulted in significant increases in demand for these products and it is critical that we consider the unintended consequences of trade policies may have on our preparedness capabilities.

We once again urge you to carefully review the healthcare products on USTR’s proposed list and request that the USTR remove these critical products from its tariff list. 



Anna G. Eshoo                                                           Susan W. Brooks 
Member of Congress                                                  Member of Congress

cc: The Honorable Robert E. Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:HealthCare, Trade

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