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Apr 6, 2020

3M, U.S. reach deal on masks; shipments to continue to Canada

Trump, 3M reach deal over masks

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3M Co. announced late Monday it reached an agreement with the Trump administration to end their dispute over the export of N95 masks in an arrangement that will allow it to continue shipping the highly-coveted respirators to Canada.

The St. Paul, Minn.-based industrial conglomerate said in a press release it will import 166.5 million of the masks from its plant in China over the next three months to help satisfy demand from U.S. healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

3M said the White House has committed to facilitate the imports by removing export and regulatory restrictions and that the truce will allow it to continue sending U.S-made N95s to Canada and Latin America.

"I want to thank President [Donald] Trump and the administration for their leadership and collaboration," 3M CEO Mike Roman said in the release.

The resolution comes less than a week after 3M sent shockwaves by publicly calling out the Trump administration for having "requested" that it stop exporting the masks to Canada and Latin America. At the time, the company said that would carry "significant humanitarian implications."

In recent days, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has routinely been questioned about the situation in his daily COVID-19 updates. Earlier Monday, Trudeau said he "expects those shipments to come" after facing multiple questions about Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s comments that a shipment of the masks had been blocked on Sunday.