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  • TLT.USA
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BusinessCanadaInternationalNewsTrade and Compliance

3M: Halting N95 mask exports would hurt U.S.

3M pushes back as Trump pressures company to keep all domestically produced N95 masks within the U.S. as hospitals and healthcare workers encounter shortages of personal protective equipment as they fight COVID-19.

The Trump administration’s request for 3M to halt exports of N95 respirator masks to Canada and Latin America would endanger healthcare workers and risk retaliatory measures that would endanger the U.S. supply of a key piece of protective equipment in the fight against COVID-19, the company said today.

3M warned of “significant humanitarian implications” of halting U.S. N95 exports after the Trump administration made the request as it invoked the Defense Production Act to boost the U.S.-based company’s production of the respirator masks.

“Ceasing all exports of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done,” 3M said in a statement. “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.”

President Trump also addressed 3M in a tweet on Thursday, saying, “We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their masks.”

Canada has been scrambling to secure N95 masks and other personal protective equipment as other countries, including Germany and China, restrict exports to ensure their domestic needs are met. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that 11 million facemasks had arrived in Canada in recent days. He also noted that the federal government had ordered face shields from a hockey equipment company, Bauer.

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Nate Tabak, Border and North America Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist who covers Canada for FreightWaves. He spent seven years as an investigative reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley. Contact Nate at ntabak@freightwaves.com.

4 Comments

  1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    “Competition” is fierce !

    On another note :

    Quote:

    “Food Supply Chain Slows Around the World on Trucking Bottlenecks

    Canadian carriers are driving empty trucks to the U.S. to pick up food items to transport back north, said Stephen Laskowski, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance. Normally, they’d be full of manufactured goods from Canada to deliver to the U.S., but that need has dwindled, he said.

    The issue with one-way hauls has also popped up in parts of the U.S., Europe and Asia, and it’s raising freight costs for food. With manufacturing slowing, it’s unclear how long before this gets resolved.

    Demand for trucks in the U.S. has increased while efficiency has gone down due to longer distances traveled and the empty one-way hauls. That’s prompted farm groups to call for relief on rules that restrict driving hours and weights.”

    1. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

      Update :

      Quote:

      “Trudeau says he is not looking at measures that are retaliatory or punitive.
      Rather, he says the countries can come up with a diplomatic solution.
      Much of the pulp for the masks that protect against COVID-19 spread comes from a mill in Nanaimo, B.C.
      He says his message to Trump in the coming days will be that working together benefits both countries.”

  2. Noble1 suggests SMART truck drivers should UNITE & collectively cut out the middlemen from picking truck driver pockets ! UNITE , CONQUER , & YOU'LL PROSPER ! IMHO says:

    Furthermore to the prior post .

    Quote : Trudeau to talk to Trump about COVID masks after White House bars export

    “Ontario Premier Doug Ford was far less diplomatic than Trudeau in his reaction to the U.S. measure, blasting the Trump administration for trying to block essential medical equipment from coming to Canada.
    “We’re the two largest trading partners anywhere in the world. It’s like one of your family members (says), ‘OK you go starve and we’ll go feast on the rest of the meal.’ I’m just so disappointed right now,” Ford said Saturday.
    “We have a great relationship with the U.S. and they pull these shenanigans? Unacceptable.”

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