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Trump’s Tariffs Leave the U.S. Short on Vital Medical Supplies

Robert B. Zoellick

By Robert B. Zoellick (original source The Wall Street Journal)

“Why would the U.S. increase the cost and difficulty of supplying protective gear to doctors and nurses? Why would Washington obstruct the acquisition of lifesaving equipment? Because the sclerosis of trade protectionism, once it takes hold, constricts economic health and adaptation.

Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics calculates that the Trump administration has imposed new taxes on almost $5 billion of medical exports from China, totaling about 26% of U.S. health-care imports. With tariffs, the U.S. government is making it harder for first responders to procure masks, sterile gloves, goggles, hospital gowns, surgical drapes, thermometers and breathing masks. America also imports about $22 billion of medical technology from countries all over the world, including CT systems, patient monitors and X-ray devices.”

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