Varian Medical Systems Could Save More Lives and Compete More Efficiently Under U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement
Guest blog post by Timothy E. Guertin, President and CEO of
Varian Medical Systems of Palo Alto, CA.
Editor’s Note: Varian
Medical Systems focuses energy on saving lives. By partnering with customers
and others, the people of Varian develop leading solutions for improving cancer
treatment, X-ray imaging, and security.
Systems is honored that Secretary Locke and an esteemed Congressional
delegation devoted time to seeing our systems treating cancer patients at Seoul
National University Hospital (SNUH), while on a trade mission to the Republic
of Korea. SNUH, a longtime partner of
Varian, provides some of the most leading edge cancer treatments available to
those stricken with this terrible disease.
The Varian linear accelerators that perform radiotherapy treatments at
SNUH were manufactured in California and then installed and serviced by a team
of technicians in Seoul, providing jobs on both sides of the Pacific.
While visiting the radiation oncology department at SNUH,
Secretary Locke was able to see firsthand the easy and painless process a
cancer patient goes through when being treated with radiotherapy. Radiotherapy is a non-invasive technique that
targets tumors with high-energy photon beams that stop cancer cells from
reproducing. Treatments on Varian
linear accelerators are tailored for each patient, focusing on breast,
prostate, brain, lung and other types of cancers. In
the next several months, SNUH will be acquiring the new Varian TrueBeam system
that will enable clinicians in Seoul to treat more complex cases, while at the
same time reducing treatment times for patients.
We are able to place Varian technology in the hands of
oncologists in Seoul thanks to the existing beneficial trade relationship
between the U.S. and Korea. However,
this relationship would be further strengthened if the pending US-Korea Trade Agreement
was ratified, thereby eliminating the existing tariff barriers that are
currently in place for technology like ours.
Should the trade agreement be finalized, it would eliminate an 8 percent
tariff for Varian and potentially lead business growth in both the U.S. and
Korea. In addition, it would help to
make the most advanced cancer treatment in the world available to more patients
It is my hope that patients in Korea and all over the world
will continue to benefit from the collaborative innovation that occurs due to
mutually beneficial trade relationships.
In order to continue to innovate new ways to treat cancer and other
diseases, we need to ensure that we can keep working together around a common