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‘I am insulted’: Premier Kenney lashes out at President Trump over orders to stop exporting masks to Canada

Last Updated Apr 6, 2020 at 6:45 am MDT

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a press conference in Edmonton on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — Premier Jason Kenney had strong words for U.S. President Donald Trump during Friday’s daily COVID-19 briefing after it was reported manufacturing giant 3M was ordered to stop exporting N95 face masks to Canada.

“As a Canadian, I am insulted by the decision announced today to block the export of critically needed medical equipment that we need to fight the pandemic here in this country,” Kenney said.

“If I had a chance to speak with President Trump, I would remind him about Canada’s solidarity following 9/11 and in the global fight against terrorism. We have made very real sacrifices to stand by our American friends and allies.”

He called the decision short-sighted saying the United States is a net importer of this kind of equipment.

The premier also pointed to the need for more manufacturing to be conducted in Canada to produce our own critical equipment because “we can’t even count on our closest friend and ally to be a supplier.”

“The Administration also requested that 3M cease exporting respirators that we currently manufacture in the United States to the Canadian and Latin American markets,” according to a release by 3M.

“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. In addition, ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done.”

The company also warned that this would have a negative impact on the net number of respirators being made available to the country.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about this issue outside of Rideau Cottage Friday morning, insisting both countries are in ongoing talks to keep goods and services flowing between the border.

He also said he made it clear that Canada is expecting their medical orders to be filled by the U.S.