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Canada will continue to receive 3M N95 masks, 3M and Trump reach agreement


ST. PAUL, MINN., April 6, 2020 – 3M announced in a press release at 6 pm Monday that it has reached a deal with President Donald Trump’s administration to import 166.5 million N95 respirator masks to the United States over the next three months to support its frontline healthcare workers.

3M says it will import 166.5 million respirators over the next three months primarily from its manufacturing facility in China, starting in April. The agreement will also enable 3M to continue sending U.S. produced respirators to Canada and Latin America, where 3M is the primary source of supply.

“I want to thank President Trump and the Administration for their leadership and collaboration,” said 3M chairman and CEO Mike Roman. “We share the same goals of providing much-needed respirators to Americans across our country and combating criminals who seek to take advantage of the current crisis. These imports will supplement the 35 million N95 respirators we currently produce per month in the United States.”

“Given the reality that demand for respirators outpaces supply, we are working around the clock to further expand our capacity, while prioritizing and redirecting our supplies to serve the most critical areas,” Roman continued. “We’ll continue to do all we can to protect our heroic healthcare workers and first responders, and I want to thank our 96,000 3Mers for your tireless efforts – including those in our plants and distribution centers around the world.”

“I want to thank President Trump and the Administration for their leadership and collaboration” CEO Mike Roman

Last week, the Trump administration specifically requested 3M to stop exporting respirators currently manufactured in the US to Canadian and Latin American markets. Trump tweeted the he “hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their masks.”

This also prompted Ontario Premier Doug Ford to assert the necessity for Ontario to be responsible for manufacturing its own healthcare supplies without the reliance on others. Ford today also said Ontario was down to its last week if not days of frontline protection supplies, expressing concerns after hearing about U.S. interference with supply shipments.

“We’re putting pressure on the U.S. from all sides. It’s absolutely critical that we get an exemption from this presidential order,” said Ford.

Beginning in January, 3M says they ramped up production of N95 respirators and doubled its global output to 1.1 billion per year – including the 35 million a month in the United States.

3M also says that they have in motion additional investments and actions that will enable it to double its capacity again to 2 billion globally within 12 months, with additional capacity to begin coming online in the next 60 to 90 days. In the United States, for example, 3M expects to be producing N95 respirators at a rate of 50 million per month in June, a 40 percent increase from current levels.

Last week 3M announced additional actions to address price gouging and counterfeit activity related to its respirators. 3M has not changed the prices it charges for respirators, and will take decisive action against those seeking to take illegal and unethical advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak.

story by Terry Lankstead

with files from 3M

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