Trump, 3M announce plan to import additional masks into US
President Donald Trump is touting the end of a dispute with 3M to supply millions of masks to medical professionals on the front lines of the fight against the new coronavirus.
Trump said that the “3M saga ends very happily. We’re very proud to be dealing now with 3M.”
The president said that the Minnesota-based company agreed to deliver an additional “55.5 million high-quality facemasks each month.”
According to a release from the company, 3M stated it will import 166.5 million respirators into the United States over the next three months, mainly from its manufacturing facility in China.
"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," 3M Chairman and CEO Mike Roman said in a statement. "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."
Trump had invoked the Korean War-era Defense Production Act to prevent 3M from exporting masks abroad.
It had sparked some fears that other nations would down on the shipment of medical supplies to the US.
3M said the agreement allows it to continue to send N95 protective masks to Canada and Latin America.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.