3M Fires Back at Trump, Defiantly Continues To Support Canada, Mexico


Mask manufacturer 3M pushed back against President Donald Trump on Friday, suggesting it would continue to export masks to Canada and Latin America in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

President Trump on Thursday evening invoked the Defense Production Act to force 3M to ramp up production of masks.

The order directed acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to “use any and all authority available under the Act to acquire, from any appropriate subsidiary or affiliate of 3M Company, the number of N-95 respirators that the Administrator determines to be appropriate.”

In a Friday statement explaining the order, Trump said that the order is also intended to keep personal protective equipment distributors from exporting PPE to foreign purchasers who are “willing to pay significant premiums.”

“It will help ensure that needed PPE is kept in our country and gets to where it is needed to defeat the virus,” he said.

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“Nothing in this order will interfere with the ability of PPE manufacturers to export when doing so is consistent with United States policy and in the national interest of the United States.”

Although 3M responded by saying the company is looking “forward to working with [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] to implement yesterday’s order,” it refused to comply with what it said was the Trump administration’s request that it cease exporting respirators manufactured in the United States to Latin America and Canada.

“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,” 3M’s statement read.

The manufacturer added that if it ceased exporting critical respirators, other countries were likely to “retaliate and do the same, as some have already done.”

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“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,” the statement read.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the Trump administration’s order a “mistake,” the New York Post reported.

“It would be a mistake for both of our countries to limit our access to goods and personnel,” Trudeau said.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford added that the order could jeopardize Canadian health care workers who are fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” he tweeted.

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Trump’s order came after the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Jared Moskowitz, told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that he discovered 3M was favoring foreign buyers and had refused to sell him masks for health care workers on the frontlines in Florida.

“This is about the executives who decided not to put America first and it’s going to have devastating consequences,” Moskowitz said.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith