The Biden administration is extending tariff exclusions on about 99 categories of medical products from China until Sept. 30, 2021 to aid the fight against COVID-19, the US Trade Representative’s office said in a Federal Register notice on Wednesday, reported Reuters.
The list of exclusions covers items from masks and gloves to blood pressure cuff sleeves and X-ray tables. The extension of a previous tariff exclusion on the medical goods under the Trump administration’s “Section 301” tariffs was set to lapse on March 31.
“In light of the continuing efforts to combat COVID-19, the US Trade Representative has determined that it is inappropriate to allow the exclusions for certain products to lapse,” the trade agency said in the notice signed by USTR General Counsel Greta Peisch.
Most of the products had been included in a fourth round of tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by President Donald Trump on Sept. 1, 2019, at the height of the US-China trade war. They were hit with an initial US tariff rate of 15% that was later lowered to 7.5% as part of the US-China “Phase 1” trade agreement enacted in February 2020, said Reuters.