Neal Calls for 90-Day Suspension of All Tariffs on Goods Necessary to Combat COVID-19 Public Health Crisis

May 4, 2020
Press Release
The Chairman’s recommendation follows the release of a USITC report he requested on the import of medical supplies and products

SPRINGFIELD, MA – Today, after reviewing a U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) report on imports of medical supplies, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) called for a 90-day suspension of all tariffs on products relevant to responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis. The Chairman also urged the Administration to take the measures necessary to increase domestic production of these goods in an effort to help resolve the persistent shortages of supplies, equipment, and medicines the United States needs to successfully combat the pandemic and save lives.

On April 6, along with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman Neal requested the USITC compile its report on medical supply imports. In that initial request, the Chairmen noted that challenges related to the virus were “being severely exacerbated by disruptions and deficiencies in our supply of equipment, inputs, and substances needed for treating and otherwise responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

After careful review this week, Chairman Neal today released his analysis of the USITC’s findings, including his assessment that, for the next 90 days, the Administration should “exercise its existing authorities, including emergency authorities, to suspend all tariffs for the next 90 days on the products identified by the USITC as relevant to responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis. These suspensions must be subject to a straightforward and easily administrable process for affected stakeholders to object.” Chairman Neal also asserted that, after addressing the most urgent public health challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States “must re-examine our existing policies and have the courage to enact the necessary transformative changes to make our supply chains smarter, our manufacturing capabilities stronger, and our country and citizens better prepared for future emergencies.”  

The Chairman’s complete analysis of the USITC’s report is available HERE.

The USITC report is available HERE.