CTA Demands Tariff Exemptions to the U.S. Government on Tech Products Made in China

CTA | May 06, 2020

  • U.S. Trade Representative’s Office to waive tariffs on a wide range of Chinese-made products as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including drones, robots, personal computers and 3D printers.

  • Tariff waivers should be granted for sensors and cameras used by doctors to provide telehealth services, robots that can sterilize infected surfaces, 3D printers, drones that can deliver medical supplies.

  • The American Chemistry Council asked that tariffs be waived on essential inputs into U.S. manufacturing of cleaning and disinfectant products.

Major U.S. firms and trade groups want the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office to waive tariffs on a wide range of Chinese-made products as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including drones, robots, personal computers and 3D printers.

In March, USTR said it would not impose tariffs on ventilators, oxygen masks, and nebulizers after previously granting exclusions on a large number of health-related products. At the time, the agency opened a docket for businesses and others to raise concerns about existing tariffs “relevant to the medical response to the coronavirus.”

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and several other industry bodies said in letters made public on Monday that the waivers should be far broader than those directly related to COVID-19 medical care.

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Tariff waivers should be granted for sensors and cameras used by doctors to provide telehealth services, robots that can sterilize infected surfaces, 3D printers, drones that can deliver medical supplies, wireless hotspots and laptops for schoolchildren and networking equipment in data centers, for example, CTA said.


These tariffs are not only a barrier to the entry of necessary products, they are a tax on businesses and consumers that has become ever more harmful as many enter ‘survival mode,’

The Group Wrote USTR.

The National Elevator Industry asked USTR to lift duties on elevator and escalator parts and components that are “essential to the functions of healthcare facilities, hospitals and medical equipment factories.”


Tariffs should be waived on personal computers, monitors, printers, ink, toner, workstations, servers and other electronics because they are used by all essential critical infrastructure workers, including doctors and nurses,

Computing Technology Industry Association

The American Chemistry Council asked that tariffs be waived on essential inputs into U.S. manufacturing of cleaning and disinfectant products, material used in making personal protective equipment, packaging and wipes, and chemicals used in the U.S. manufacturing of cough and cold medicines.

The American Apparel & Footwear Association asked USTR to expand an exemption to include reusable masks, while a software group asked for waivers for networking equipment used to support connectivity within healthcare and other fields.

Hilo Industries LLC asked USTR to waive tariffs on hand sanitizer. Other firms have asked for tariffs to be waived on hand dryers used in commercial buildings.

Read More: US Government Pursues National Strategy to Secure 5G Communications

About Consumer Technology Association

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ is the trade association representing the $398 billion U.S. consumer technology industry, which supports more than 15 million U.S. jobs. More than 2,200 companies – 80 percent are small businesses and startups; others are among the world’s best-known brands – enjoy the benefits of CTA membership including policy advocacy, market research, technical education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CTA also owns and produces CES® – the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Profits from CES are reinvested into CTA’s industry services.


This infographic takes a look at white hat hackers and how the government needs more cyber security experts.


This infographic takes a look at white hat hackers and how the government needs more cyber security experts.

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