Manufacturing giant 3M says the White House has asked to halt exports of U.S.-made N95 masks to Canada.
“The Administration also asked 3M to stop exporting the respirators we currently manufacture in the United States to the Canadian and Latin American markets. However, the cessation of the supply of respirators for health care workers in Canada and in Latin America, where we are, has significant humanitarian consequences. a key supplier of respirators, “3M said in a statement on Friday.
The statement comes hours after President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act requiring companies to prioritize the production of masks and ventilators to combat the spread of COVID-19.
“We plan to issue more Defense Protection Act orders in the very near future, in addition to the one I just signed against 3M for face masks,” Trump said on Thursday evening.
But 3M warns that stopping these exports could backfire.
“Ceasing all exports of US-made respirators would likely prompt other countries to respond and do the same, as some have already done. If that were to happen, the net number of respirators available to the United States would actually decrease. It is the opposite of what we and the administration, on behalf of the American people, are both looking for. “
Asset alludes to movement in a tweet posted Thursday.
In response, 3M said it continues to “act on reports of price increases and unauthorized resale related to 3M respirators. This activity is unethical and illegal. We are working with the United States Attorney General and each state’s attorneys general, making it clear that 3M has not and will not increase the prices of respirators and offer our assistance in the fight. “
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that while Canada and the United States are working closely to share best practices and ensure that healthcare workers on both sides of the border get the supplies they need, there are no plans to apply a bilateral trade agreement on protective equipment.
The Prime Minister’s inner circle, including Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, strongly opposed the White House’s proposal to place the US military along the border to ease international spread.