The American-based manufacture of N95 respirator masks, 3M, has said that the White House asked them to stop sending US-made respirators to Canada and Latin America.
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.
Including earlier this past week, when the company said, it secured approval, with the help of President Donald Trump’s administration, from the Chinese government to export 10 million respirators to the US from a sister plant.
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As per the company’s news release, the administration also requested that “3M cease exporting respirators that we currently manufacture in the United States to the Canadian and Latin American markets.”
3M says there are “significant humanitarian implications” of halting respirator supplies to healthcare workers in Canada and Latin America, “where we are a critical supplier of respirators.”
The American-based company’s statement comes on the heels of a tweet from Trump on Thursday. He wrote, “hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their masks.” At the time, it was unclear as to what the president was referring to.
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
The company added that ceasing all exportation of US-made respirators would likely cause other countries to retaliate and “do the same” which would result in a decreasing number of available respirators to the US.