The OAA Responds

The OAA, along with several other industry organizations, recently joined The Vision Council in urging the Office of the US Trade Representative to consider the consequences of a 25%higher tariff (China Tariff 301) on optical goods from China. The organizations submitted a joint letter to the Office opposing the proposed tariffs and highlighting the hardship the tariffs would create, stating that “prescription eyeglasses, regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are the most widely used medical device in the United States, if not the world. As of March 2019, approximately 164.4 million Americans—64.3 percent of the U.S. population—wear prescription eyeglasses, with 78.6 million pairs of new eyeglasses dispensed to Americans annually.

“Any increase in the landed cost of the Optical Products through the imposition of additional Customs duties will inevitably result in higher costs for medical devices designed to provide therapeutic or prophylactic benefits to those with mild to serious vision issues. Any duty-related increase will be passed through the supply chain to the ultimate consumer—the eyecare patient."

The following items would be affected:

  • Spectacle lenses of glass, unmounted
  • Spectacle lenses of materials other than glass, unmounted
  • Frames and mountings of plastic for spectacles, goggles or the like
  • Frames and mountings, other than of plastics, for spectacles, goggles or the like
  • Parts of frames and mountings for spectacles, goggles or the like
  • Sunglasses—corrective, protective or other
  • Spectacles, goggles and the like—corrective, protective or other, other than sunglasses; binoculars
  • Optical telescopes, including monoculars

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