In the latest bit of saber rattling over trade, the Trump administration last month reportedly floated the possibility of imposing tariffs on medical products exported from Switzerland to the U.S. because pharmaceuticals appear to be causing a trade imbalance. Although such a move is far from certain, any tariffs are likely to hurt U.S. patients in particular, according to one analyst tracking the developments.
Last year, an estimated $40 billion in medicines were sent to the U.S., while Swiss imports from the U.S. amounted to about $21 billion. From the American point of view, the imbalance is largely due to pharmaceuticals, according to a recent report in Neue Zurcher Zeitung. Last year, the paper added, these products accounted for around 53% of goods exported to the U.S.