U.S.-based company 3M said Friday that it has been asked by the Trump administration not to supply N95 respirators to Canada amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered the Minnesota-based company to produce and sell as many medical-grade masks as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 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.
“There are, however, significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies to health-care workers in Canada and Latin America, where we are a critical supplier of respirators,” the statement added.