The administration of President Joe Biden will continue to exempt some Chinese-made medical products from US tariffs, even as China’s coronavirus crisis has exposed the country’s over-reliance on foreign countries for essential supplies.
Late last week, the Biden administration announced that certain medical products made in China will remain exempt from US tariffs. The tariff lockout would have ended at the end of May, but will now be in effect until at least the end of November.
The announcement means the Biden administration will allow Chinese-made surgical gloves, face masks, hospital gowns and medical devices to be sold in the US market for free.
The US’s decades-long free trade with China, which continues to wipe out US working- and middle-class communities, has left the US economy dependent on China and many other foreign countries for vital supplies in medicines, technology, minerals and other industries.
In 2020, for example, the US imported nearly $300 million worth of hospital and sanitary supplies made from paper — about 51 percent of which were made in China. Similarly, in 2020, the US imported $470 million worth of rubber surgical gloves. More than 70 percent of those gloves came from Thailand and Malaysia, while more than 15 percent were imported from China.
Also in 2020, the US imported more than $7 million worth of clothing and accessories made from paper, including paper face masks used during the pandemic and still used by medical professionals in hospital settings. Nearly 60 percent of those imports took place in China.
As Breitbart News reported, amid the pandemic, small-to-medium US manufacturers said they were not only denied federal contracts to produce these essential medical supplies, but were not even contacted.
While Biden has touted his infrastructure bill as an incentive for U.S. manufacturing, the legislation includes huge exceptions that allow federal agencies to bypass “Buy American” rules for any infrastructure project.
From 2001 to 2018, US free trade with China eliminated 3.7 million US jobs from the economy, 2.8 million of which were in US manufacturing. During the same period, at least 50,000 American factories were closed.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here†