Medical imaging group warns China tariffs will cost manufacturers $138M and compromise care

Doctor looking at X-ray
X-ray manufacturers will be among the hardest hit by U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, according to MITA. (Getty/bernardbodo)

A leading industry group is pressing the Trump administration to allow medical imaging technology to be exempt from tariffs imposed on imported goods from China, arguing that the policy will cost device manufacturers $138 million this year.

In its latest plea, the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance (MITA) asked the Trump administration to establish a “timely and robust” exemption process for the tariffs, which could prevent manufacturers from staying competitive and limit patient access to care.

The tariffs, which tax Chinese imports, went into effect last week.

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“Though the Administration has stated that it will implement an exemption process, we have not yet seen any information about how or when it will do so,” Patrick Hope, executive director of MITA, said in a statement. “Policymakers should act quickly to ensure that patient access to innovative life-saving technology is not compromised.”

MITA has been asking the administration to offer device manufacturers an exemption for several months, arguing that the tariffs amount to a double tax on manufacturers that ship device components between two facilities in different countries. The group also said medical devices should be exempt as a “humanitarian good.”

In comments (PDF) responding to the proposed tariffs in May, MITA said the policy change would “cause harm to the U.S. medical imaging industry, including the hospitals and patients that we serve.”

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In a recent survey conducted by MITA, every manufacturer surveyed said it would invest less in research and development and reduce their workforce if the tariffs went into effect. The group estimated the tariffs will cost manufacturers $138 million this year.

CT scanners and components of X-ray machines would be hit hardest by the tariffs, according to the survey.

“While we are encouraged that the Administration has shown openness to making adjustments to the list, we first need a clear explanation of the process we should use to make our case to the government to ensure that American innovation can continue to thrive,” Hope said.