Canada will still get face masks from 3M after deal struck with Trump
After President Trump decided that face mask manufacturer 3M should not be allowed to export its product from the U.S. to other countries during the global pandemic — an order that would have "significant humanitarian implications," according to the company itself — a deal has finally been struck to ensure that Canada is able to continue receiving a supply of the much-needed respirators.
3M, which is headquartered in Minnesota, will now import a total of 166.5 million of its characteristic N95 masks to the U.S. from its Chinese factories over the next three months, which means that a portion of the masks it makes in America can continue to be distributed to Canada and other nations now that Trump is appeased.
I am very pleased that a resolution has been reached between 3M and the U.S. administration. I want to thank 3M and officials on both sides of the border for their support to ensure Canada’s continued access to vital PPE. We are stronger together.— Doug Ford (@fordnation) April 7, 2020
Tensions over the issue have been heated given that there is a drastic supply shortage of medical masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) worldwide.
The province of Ontario was actually on track to run out of masks for healthcare workers by the end of the week after Trump halted a shipment from 3M at the border on Sunday, according to Premier Doug Ford.
Ford also said that his goal is to move PPE production in-house, promising that Ontario would create an enigmatic new N96 mask.
Next will be trumps announcement of N96.5— CreativeName#371 (@CreativeName4) April 3, 2020
3m said in a press release on Monday that it has been "working around the clock" to expand manufacturing and distribution operations globally given that "demand for respirators outpaces supply" at the moment.
The company, which has had to double its output due to COVID-19, serves as the primary supplier of N95s to Canada and Latin America.
After Trump invoked the Defence Production Act to try to sever that supply last week, Prime Minister Trudeau said that millions of masks acquired through other means were on the way to Canada as of Saturday.
Trump tells 3M to stop exporting masks to Canada. Trudeau: 🎤 ⬇️. pic.twitter.com/HMwma0cpLQ— AnujanRajah (@anujan_rajah) April 3, 2020
In response to Trump's demands, Trudeau also said that "Canadians know very very well that the level of integration between our economies goes both ways across the border," saying that halting shipments of masks to Canada would be "a mistake."
If it weren't for 3M stepping in, who knows what would have happened.
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