Bloomberg Highlights Portman’s Efforts to Facilitate Increased Distribution of Hand Sanitizer During Coronavirus Crisis

April 6, 2020 | Portman Difference

This weekend, Bloomberg highlighted Senator Portman’s efforts to help facilitate tariff relief for components used in the distribution of hand sanitizer, specifically pumphouses and e-collars. Pumphouses are the device in hand sanitizer dispensers that pump out the sanitizer and e-collars are the key on the bottles of hand sanitizer that ensure dispensers are fitted with the correct bottles. The Ohio-based Gojo, which produces Purell, alerted Portman to the issue and Portman engaged with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Bob Lighthizer directly to make the case for tariff relief. Hand sanitizer companies like Gojo need to increase production and distribution to accommodate the increased demand due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and their investment will go further now that this relief has been granted. Portman announced on Saturday that the USTR had granted the tariff relief. 

The full story can be viewed here and excerpts are below: 

Purell Gets Tariff Exclusion as Trump Reverses Earlier Rejection

Jenny Leonard


April 5, 2020 

The maker of Purell hand sanitizer was granted exclusions from U.S. tariffs on components it imports from China, in a reversal by the Trump administration aimed at lifting barriers for products used to fight the coronavirus pandemic. 

In separate letters dated Friday, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office notified Gojo Industries, the inventor and manufacturer of Purell-branded products, that its requests to avoid tariffs on two imported pieces of its sanitizer dispensers had been approved. 


The reversal came after pressure from lawmakers including Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, on USTR Robert Lighthizer. 

Hand sanitizer “is critical to the public health response to coronavirus,” Portman said in a statement Saturday. “We cannot let tariffs prevent the distribution of additional, much-needed hand sanitizer across the country.”