Alberta Premier Jason Kenney calls out Trump on respirator export halt

Apr 3 2020, 4:50 pm

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said that he was disappointed in Donald Trump’s alleged call for an American respirator manufacturer to halt exports to Canada.

The manufacturer, 3M, has said the White House asked them to stop sending US-made respirators to Canada.

In a statement issued Friday morning, the company says its employees have gone “above and beyond” to manufacture as many N95 respirators as possible for the US market.

As per the company’s news release, Trump’s administration requested that “3M cease exporting respirators that we currently manufacture in the United States to the Canadian and Latin American markets.”

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When asked about the alleged export halt at a coronavirus update on Friday, Kenney stated that he was “extremely disappointed” in the decision.

“If I had a chance to speak to President Trump, I would remind him about Canada’s solidarity following 9-11, and in the global fight against terrorism,” Kenney said during the press conference.

“We have made very real sacrifices to stand by our American friends and allies, and as a Canadian, I am insulted by the decision announced today to block the export of critically needed medical equipment that we need to fight the pandemic here in this country.”

Kenney noted that Alberta has been intentionally ordering respirators and other medical supplies from a number of different countries to offset the risk of failing supply lines — something that could also have an impact on America.

“I think it’s shortsighted, because the United States, ultimately, is a net importer of this kind of equipment,” Kenney stated.

“It also underscores why we must produce our own critical equipment here at home, because apparently we cant even count on our closest friend and ally to be a supplier.”