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US extends tariff exclusions on medical goods from China

US extends tariff exclusions on medical goods from China
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The United States will extend exemptions from punitive tariffs for some medical products from China, the US Trade Representative said Wednesday.

The exclusions were originally set to expire on November 30 and have been extended for three months, said the USTR in a statement.

Such exemptions were first announced in December 2020, and the latest move comes “in light of the continuing efforts to combat Covid,” said the USTR.

The exclusions cover 81 medical-care products, and the exemptions on them were extended once in November 2021 and again in June.

Items on the list include pump bottles for hand sanitizer, plastic containers for sanitizing wipes, blood pressure monitors, fingertip pulse oximeters, MRI machines and X-ray tables.

The USTR said it may continue to consider further extensions or modifications “as appropriate.”

With inflation surging to the highest level in decades, US President Joe Biden has been under pressure to end the so-called Section 301 tariffs.

These came as trade tensions between the United States and China escalated when then-president Donald Trump imposed tariffs on $350 billion worth of Chinese goods, alleging unfair trade practices and theft of US technology and intellectual property.

Washington and Beijing signed a phase one trade agreement in January 2020, under which China pledged to boost its purchases of American products and services by at least $200 billion over 2020 and 2021, but the target was not met amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.

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