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Apr 3, 2020

3M says White House asked it stop sending U.S.-made masks to Canada

3M says White House asked it stop sending U.S.-made masks to Canada

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The Trump Administration has asked 3M Co. to stop sending U.S.-made N95 respirator masks to Canada, the company said Friday.

“In the course of our collaboration with the Administration this past weekend, the Administration requested that 3M increase the amount of respirators we currently import from our overseas operations into the U.S. We appreciate the assistance of the Administration to do exactly that,” the company said in a statement.

“The Administration also requested that 3M cease exporting respirators that we currently manufacture in the United States to the Canadian and Latin American markets. There are, however, significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies to healthcare workers in Canada and Latin America, where we are a critical supplier of respirators.”

The U.S.-based company’s statement comes following a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump Thursday in which he wrote: “hit 3M hard [yesterday] after seeing what they were doing with their Masks…will have a big price to pay!” At the time, it wasn’t clear what the post was in reference to.

“3M has indicated that it understands how important it is to continue with delivering on orders to places like Canada because there is much trade that goes back and forth in essential services, and it could end up hurting Americans as much as it hurts anybody else,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in his daily news conference Friday.

“That is the point that we are making very directly and have been making for many days now to various levels of the American administration – and that message is getting through.”

Trudeau added he remains confident Canada will obtain the necessary equipment to fight COVID-19 as pressure mounts on the country’s health care system.

“We will do everything we can to ensure that no part of Canada goes without essential supplies when facing this pandemic,” he said.

Toronto is placing 'saving lives at the very top of the list': Mayor Tory

Toronto Mayor John Tory joins BNN Bloomberg's Amanda Lang to discuss the latest measures taken by the city to protect residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Tory notes the strict measures put in place will bring less economic damage in the long run.

Toronto Mayor John Tory echoed Trudeau’s comments, calling the Trump Administration’s move contrary to the relationship between Canada and the U.S., and to free trade between the two countries.  

“It’s also changing the rules in the middle of the game in the sense that you become accustomed – whether it’s through the supply of personal protective equipment or other things – to an integrated supply chain and when you have people taking action to interrupt that it obviously causes issues,” he said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg Friday.

 “We have been prudent in the City of Toronto to make sure that we have managed our own inventory [of personal protective equipment​].”

3M also said Friday its staff “have gone above and beyond” to produce the N95 masks, and that it’s cracking down on “unethical and illegal” price gouging.