AAFA requests extension of tariff exemptions on Chinese PPE imports
Posted February 25, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) sent a letter President Joseph R. Biden this week requesting the extension of tariff exemptions on imports of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face masks from China that will expire on March 31.
Unless renewed, PPE imported from China will be charged double the current tariff rate, resulting in significant price increases for American workers, families and communities still fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. February 24 marks day 35 of President Biden’s Mask Challenge, and the tariffs under reproach are slated to double on day 70 of the challenge.
“Throughout the pandemic, our members have worked night and day to deliver Personal Protective Equipment to the American people,” said Steve Lamar, president and CEO of the AAFA. “This involved repurposing factories and supply chains to meet this newfound need. Unfortunately, many of the barriers they faced early on, such as high tariffs on finished products and the materials needed to manufacture PPE domestically, continue to hamper these efforts. As Americans take on the president’s 100-day mask challenge, it is critical that the government remove these barriers that make it more difficult to follow public health guidelines.”
In addition to highlighting the looming exclusion expiration, the industry also requested that the president direct the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to reinstate the Section 301 product exclusion process, which provides the opportunity for American businesses to apply for relief from the punitive tariffs that have been placed on imports from China. Further, AAFA also urged the U.S. government to reinstate previously expired tariff exclusions.
The full letter can be downloaded here.