3M Fires Back At Trump Over Order To Produce More Face Masks

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WASHINGTON (A) – Manufacturing giant 3M pushed back Friday against criticism from President Donald Trump over production of face masks that are badly needed by American health care workers.

3M said the administration asked it to stop exporting medical-grade masks to Canada and Latin America, which the company said raises “significant humanitarian implications” and will backfire by causing other countries to retaliate against the U.S.

The N95 masks, also called respirators, provide more protection against the new coronavirus than ordinary surgical masks. Governors and hospital officials around the country have warned of a dire shortage of masks and other protective gear that protects health care workers treating people with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The unusual but not unprecedented spat between the president and a leading American manufacturer broke out after Trump ordered 3M to produce as many N95 masks as administration officials believe are needed for the U.S.

The order directed heads of the Homeland Security Department and Federal Emergency Management Agency to use their authority under the 1950 Defense Production Act to acquire the “appropriate” number of N95 respirators from 3M and any of its affiliates.

The president followed up the order with a barbed tweet at the Minnesota-based manufacturer.

“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!” Trump tweeted on Thursday night.

The company responded Friday, saying it has been producing as many masks as possible for the U.S. market “over the last several weeks and months.” The company added that it has been working with the Trump administration since last weekend and has shipped masks that it produces overseas back to the U.S., including 10 million N95 masks 3M made in China.

Then 3M went further, criticizing Trump’s order.

The company said there are “significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies to healthcare workers in Canada and Latin America, where we are a critical supplier of respirators.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada also sends essential health supplies and workers to the United States, and blocking exports of 3M would be a mistake.

“I think of the thousands of nurses who cross the bridge in Windsor to work in the Detroit medical system every day,” Trudeau said. “These are things American rely on..”

Doug Ford, premier of Ontario province, said he protested to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, expressing concern that Trump could create a shortage of masks for Canadian doctors and nurses.

“The health and well-being of our frontline workers depend on these essential medical items and now more than ever our countries need to work together to combat COVID-19,” Ford tweeted.

3M also said that “ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done. 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.”

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Now he attacks businesses? Last Tuesday he was nominating them for sainthood. Before that he attacked GM. All over a mild cold that has killed thousands? Over a silly Democrat Hoax?

    • How dare an American Company? The American Company would have double the production of masks in January had the Federal Government asked.

      The President did while he was doing his rallies and golfing at Mar A Lago.

      The CDC issued its first warning on Jan 8

      Trump held campaign rallies on Jan 9, Jan 14, Jan 28, Jan 30, Feb 10, Feb 19, Feb 20, Feb 21 & Feb 28

      He golfed on Jan 18, Jan 19, Feb 1, Feb 15, Mar 7 & Mar 8

      The first time he admitted the coronavirus might be a problem was Mar 13.

      • And the first time the WHO declared it a global pandemic was March 11. Meanwhile, Trump formed his task force, and banned travel from China, at the end of January. For a month after that, Democrats like Pelosi and De Blasio were saying that there’s no danger, and that people should join the Chinese New Year parades. Seems like they were a lot more behind the curve than Trump.

      • How dare you point out the failings of Donald J Trump, who is a stable genius with a yuuge brain and is considered the Chosen One by the evangelicals.
        He has read from prepared scripts daily to keep you informed about the outstanding tippy top job that he’s done.

          • It was you who couldn’t refute the facts, so you had to resort to pint out that the dems did even less. Ok fine. But we are criticizing trump for not doing enough, pointing at the dems won’t change anything. So if you can’t defend trump, why don’t you say so in the first place?

        • Nope, Duchan. What I’m saying is that Trump _was_ doing things when no one else was (and was wrongly criticized for them). Could he have done more? Sure, it’s easy to say so in hindsight. But let’s not pretend that it would have been better with anyone else in charge, and in fact the likelihood is that it would have been a lot worse, given the points I mentioned about what they were saying and doing.

      • You are out of your mind!! Maybe you are getting a little sick. The President was only following the doctors like Fauchi etc.from day 1. When he stoped flights from China YOU and your idiot democrats screamed no! No! You can’t do that! Where are you now on that subject? You have you brains scrambled. But guess what any. He WILL be President again!!

  2. Clinical insanity. Normal readers can see that they blamed Trump for too few ventilators, on top of 3 years of lies. Now … how dare he want more ventilators.!! impeach..
    Readers… This is just one or just 5 cats posting this drivel. The majority of Jews love this president. . Trump in 2026..

  3. Wow____ !!!!!!
    Lefties finally outright saying that they want less ventillators so more people die and maybe finally get rid of Trump.
    What evil..!!!!!!!!
    Wow..!! Unimaginable…

  4. 3M executives are lying, greedy snakes, who would sell their relatives to the highest bidder. They are intentionally withholding supplies from American hospitals, in order to increase their profits from foreign bidders, whom they stated have paid in cash.

    • “3M executives are lying, greedy snakes, who would sell their relatives to the highest bidder.”

      Who knows, maybe they already have. What snakes indeed!

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