Maker of Purell hand sanitizer denied in request for Trump tariff relief

Gojo Industries, the inventor and manufacturer of Purell-branded products, builds its hand-sanitizer and soap dispensers in the U.S., but a key input that ensures the dispensers work is made in China and subject to a 25% duty.

In a tariff-exemption request last year, Akron, Ohio-based Gojo said it’s exploring third-country sourcing but added that unilaterally moving production would require reverse engineering of a key chip that’s manufactured by a Canadian company in China. “Such action would violate their intellectual property” and Gojo “does not control the ability to move that production,” the submission reads.

The U.S. Trade Representative denied Gojo’s request earlier this month, saying the company failed to show that the duties “would cause severe economic harm to you or other U.S. interests,” according to USTR General Counsel Joseph Barloon’s letter on March 5.