3M warns of big 'humanitarian implications’ following Trump order to halt mask exports
LONDON, ONT. -- As part of the Defence Production Act, U.S. President Donald Tump has ordered manufacturing giant 3M to cease exporting respirators that are manufactured in the United States to Canadian and Latin American markets.
The company released a statement in response to the order warning the American administration of “significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies to healthcare workers in Canada, where we are a critical supplier of respirators.”
The company also warned that the move will cause other countries to do the same, leaving the U.S. with fewer masks overall.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at a similar sentiment during his daily briefing in Ottawa.
“The United States also receives essential supplies and products and indeed health care professionals from Canada every single day.”
3M Canada’s operation is based in London, Ont.
London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos spoke with the president of the Canadian division Friday afternoon.
He tells CTV News, “I wanted to thank 3M personally, for the outstanding work they have done in putting forward an effort that we’ve never seen before. They are one of many companies working hard to manufacture N95 masks.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford held nothing back at his afternoon news conference, vowing to make sure in the future this doesn’t happen again.
“I’m not going to rely on President Trump, I’m not going to rely on any Prime Minister, or any country ever again.”
He added, “Our manufacturing, we’re gearing up. When those assemblies start we aren’t going to stop them.”
Ford also said he was waiting to hear if an order placed by the province for millions of masks, would still be delivered.
Demand for so-called personal protective equipment -- gloves, gowns, face shields and the all-important N95 masks -- has been soaring around the world as overtaxed doctors, nurses and hospitals struggle with COVID-19.
And the situation is likely to get worse after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and others in the health community started recommending everyone wear some sort of face covering while out in public.
We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their Masks. “P Act” all the way. Big surprise to many in government as to what they were doing - will have a big price to pay!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2020
- With files from The Canadian Press