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3M: Halting N95 Mask Exports Would Hurt U.S.

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3M: Halting N95 Mask Exports Would Hurt U.S.

The Trump administration's request for 3M Company (NYSE: MMM) to halt exports of N95 respirator masks to Canada and Latin America would endanger healthcare workers and risk retaliatory measures that would endanger the U.S. supply of a key piece of protective equipment in the fight against COVID-19, the company said today.

3M warned of "significant humanitarian implications" of halting U.S. N95 exports after the Trump administration made the request as it invoked the Defense Production Act to boost the U.S.-based company's production of the respirator masks.

"Ceasing all exports of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done," 3M said in a statement. "If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease. That is the opposite of what we and the Administration, on behalf of the American people, both seek."

President Trump also addressed 3M in a tweet on Thursday, saying, "We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their masks."

We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their Masks. "P Act" all the way. Big surprise to many in government as to what they were doing – will have a big price to pay!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2020

Canada has been scrambling to secure N95 masks and other personal protective equipment as other countries, including Germany and China, restrict exports to ensure their domestic needs are met. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that 11 million facemasks had arrived in Canada in recent days. He also noted that the federal government had ordered face shields from a hockey equipment company, Bauer.

Image: 3M

 

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Posted-In: Coronavirus Covid-19 Defense Production Act Donald TrumpNews Health Care Politics General

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