U.S.-based company 3M said Friday that it can no longer supply N95 respirators to Canada amid the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered Minnesota-based company to produce and sell as many medical-grade masks as the Federal Emergency Management Agency says it needs. He invoked the Defence Production Act in order to speed up the distribution of masks.
“The Administration also requested that 3M cease exporting respirators that we currently manufacture in the United States to the Canadian and Latin American markets,” a statement from the company read.
The company said the move raised “humanitarian” concerns for them.
“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,” the statement added.
Global News has reached out to Health Minister Patty Hajdu’s office asking what the predicted impact of such a move would be on the domestic supply of respirators, but has not yet received a response.
3M CEO Mike Roman said earlier this week that the company is working closely with FEMA and is on track to double global production of N95 masks to two billion a year in 12 months.
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Roman said 3M will boost production by 40 per cent to 50 million masks per month in about 60 days.
With files from The Associated Press