News Briefs Archive

Proposed China Tariff: Which Optical Products Would Be Affected?

April 11, 2018

On April 3, 2018, the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) published a proposed list of imported products that it intends to subject to an additional 25 percent tariff if those products originate from China, according to reporting from The Vision Council.

The proposed action is the outgrowth of the USTR’s investigation into China’s treatment of foreign intellectual property and the Chinese requirement that U.S. investor companies transfer their intellectual property and trade secrets to Chinese companies in return for market access.

A copy of the complete list can be found HERE.

The good news is that eyeglasses, optical frames, lenses, plano sunglasses, reading glasses, and parts of these medical devices, are not on the proposed list.

Certain optical manufacturing machines, ophthalmic instruments and electro-diagnostic equipment, however, are included on the proposed list. This include lens meters, tonometers, ophthalmometers, slit lamp microscopes, retinal cameras and optical lens grinding and polishing machinery. Other products may also be implicated.

The Vision Council recommends that its members, who import these Chinese-origin devices, immediately determine whether their products are covered by the proposed tariff, and to consider their options.

The list is subject to a public comment process and a hearing. All hearing appearance requests must be filed by April 23, 2018, and all written comments must be submitted by May 11, 2018.

Any questions about this issue can be directed to Rick Van Arnam, The Vision Council regulatory counsel, at rvanarnam@barnesrichardson.com.

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