3M signs deal with White House: Canada to receive N95 masks

One of the largest American manufacturers of medical masks came to the rescue of Canada on Monday, concluding an agreement with the White House that allows it to supply millions of its precious N95 masks to the American market without sacrificing its customers. north of the border.
3 million, which was the heart of a confrontation with President Donald Trump and his administration about the unwillingness of the company based in Minnesota to comply with an order of priority to meet US demand for masks has confirmed its intention to continue to fulfill orders from Canada and Latin America.

3M and the United States government “have worked together to ensure that this plan does not create new humanitarian implications for the countries currently fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company said in a statement to the following the latest press briefing from Mr. Trump to the White House.

“The plan will also allow 3M to continue exporting masks made in the United States to Canada and Latin America, where 3M is the primary source of supply,” said the release.

During the press briefing, Donald Trump said that his spat with 3M was over and he praised Mike Roman, the company’s general manager, when he announced that the manufacturer would produce 166, 5 million masks for overworked and under-supplied healthcare professionals across the United States.

He did not, however, mention that these N95 masks would come from the company’s factories located in China, although that is how 3M said it would meet at least part of the constantly increasing American demand while continuing to respond to orders from the northern and southern United States.

“We share the same goals of providing much needed masks to Americans across the country and of fighting criminals who seek to take advantage of the current crisis,” Roman said in the statement.

“These imports will add to the 35 million N95 masks we currently manufacture each month in the United States.”

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced the United States, complaining that Canada had been having problems for weeks with incomplete or non-existent deliveries of essential equipment to combat COVID-19 – particularly masks, which are in increasing demand around the world.

“We have recognized in the past few weeks a number of situations in which deliveries from different countries of the world have been delayed (or) have not arrived with as many products as we expected,” said Mr. Trudeau.

“This continues to be an ongoing problem – especially with the United States. We are working with them to ensure that the orders Canada has placed are delivered. We expect these deliveries to arrive. ”

Premier Doug Ford Complained On Monday That A Mask Delivery To Ontario Was Arrested At The Canada-US Border Over The Weekend directly to Donald Trump’s decision to order American manufacturers to prioritize the domestic market.

“We are pressuring the United States from all sides. It is absolutely essential that we get an exemption from this presidential order, “said Ford, who at the same time signaled that the province’s supply of equipment could be exhausted in the coming days.

“These are some pieces of equipment that the whole world is trying to get hold of right now, and I am doing the same thing,” he said. I’ll be on it like a dog on a bone. ”

Premier Ford initially said that a shipment of three million masks had been detained at the border and that after a conversation with the US trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, he had been able to release 500,000 masks. Government officials However, Ontario later clarified that the Premier was wrong – that the shipment that was delayed was in fact 500,000 masks.

Whatever the numbers, Ford said he wanted to take a look at the goods before claiming victory.

“These are some pieces of equipment that the whole world is trying to get hold of right now, and I do the same. I’ll be on it like a dog on a bone. ”
– Premier of Ontario Doug Ford

The White House invoked the Defense Production Act to force American equipment manufacturers, such as 3M and Honeywell, to prioritize orders coordinated by the United States Federal Agency for Emergency Management.

The White House insisted late last week that these orders should not interfere with exports of equipment that are in the national interest of the United States – a late warning that came after 3M expressly revealed that the administration had asked him to stop exporting N95 masks.

However, reports from around the world indicate that the United States is using its unrivaled purchasing power and international weight to obtain goods from small buyers. Germany, France and Brazil have all complained that orders for them have been sold – sometimes directly on airport tarmacs after a last-minute cash transaction.

“We feel hurt,” said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. She added that Canada continues to argue that given the interconnected nature of the Canada-US supply chains, “a win-win outcome, where both parties continue to help each other, constitutes the best result ”.

“We look forward to resolving this situation definitively,” she said.

“The Far West”

Minister Freeland also praised 3M and Mr. Roman for their “very, very responsible” position vis-à-vis the White House. As an international supplier of one of the most important pieces of personal protective equipment, 3M is currently in a “very special situation” as it seeks to balance domestic demands with global humanitarian responsibilities, he said. she noted.

“This is truly the Wild West when it comes to buying medical supplies at this time, said M me Freeland. This is a global pandemic, and every country in the world is doing its best in a really fierce competition for medical supplies. ”

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