WASHINGTON – One of the world’s largest U.S.-based makers of consumer products says it has been told by the White House to stop exporting medical-grade face masks to the Canadian market.
Minnesota-based 3M says the Trump administration has asked that it stop sending N95 respirators to export markets in Canada and Latin America.
But the company, which calls itself a critical supplier of the masks to both markets, says there would be “significant humanitarian implications” to doing so.
#Breaking 3M told by White House to stop sending U.S made ventilators to Canada and LATAM. 3M opposes move saying it would lead to "retaliation".
— mike eppel (@eppman) April 3, 2020
It also says such a move would likely prompt retaliatory measures, ultimately resulting in fewer respirators being available in the United States.
3M says it has already been turning out as many of the N95 masks as possible for the U.S. market.
The company was singled out for criticism Thursday by President Donald Trump, who has invoked the Defense Production Act to compel 3m to prioritize the American market for its masks.