On April 6th U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the government would buy nearly 167 million masks from 3M over the next three months,media reported. “The story with 3M is over,” Mr. Trump said at a White House news conference Monday night. We are proud to work with 3M and its CEO, Mike Roman. “
Original title: Trump announces settlement with 3M: 167 million masks ordered over the next three months
Last week, Mr. Trump sparred with 3M for days, criticizing it for not producing more N95 masks. Even on April 2, Mr. Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, which forced 3M to produce N95 masks on demand, in accordance with a decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
On Monday, an official told the Wall Street Journal that the Trump administration has no plans to take further action against 3M under the Defense Production Act, in addition to buying masks.
3M, the main U.S. producer of N95 masks, has doubled its production since the outbreak in January. 3M now produces nearly 100 million masks a month worldwide, and the company said last week it would increase u.S. production to 40 million in a few weeks and 50 million by June.
At the request of the government, 3M said it would export 10m masks from its factories in China to the United States, but that it would not stop some exports to Canada and Latin America for humanitarian reasons.
The Trump administration has previously asked 3M to ship its masks made overseas back to the U.S., not to allow it to export N95 masks to Canada, Latin America and elsewhere. At the time, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded by saying he might take retaliatory action against Mr. Trump’s decision.
In addition to 3M, other manufacturers are increasing u.S. mask production. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicted in March that the U.S. would need 300 million N95 masks a month to respond to the outbreak.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ordered 600 million N95 masks from 3M, Honeywell and three other companies last month to distribute them to hospitals over the next 18 months and increase U.S. medical inventory, the Wall Street Journal reported.