Trump blasts 3M for selling N95 masks to foreign companies: ‘Will have big price to pay!’

So far, President Donald Trump has not had to use his authority often under the Defense Production Act (DPA) in order to ensure that American companies were producing materials vital to combating the coronavirus.

That’s because most companies that are able have voluntarily begun producing things like personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators needed to protect healthcare workers and take care of the most critical patients.

But one corporation — 3M — just drew the ire of the president after it was reported that the company was actually fulfilling orders for much-needed N95 masks to foreign customers instead of providing them to Americans in need.

CBS News reported:

President Trump blasted the company 3M in a tweet Thursday evening, after invoking the Defense Production Act to force the company to produce face masks. N95 face masks are critical for health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, and there have been issues with mask shortages.

“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!” the president tweeted, in reference to the DPA.

During Thursday’s coronavirus briefing at the White House, Trump said he had signed an executive order directing 3M to produce masks for Americans only.

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“Hopefully they’ll be able to do what they are supposed to do,” the president said.

The chief White House trade adviser, Peter Navarro, also said there were “issues” with 3M.

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“We’ve had some issues making sure that all of the production that 3M does around the world, enough of it is coming back here to the right places,” Navarro said.

But for some reason, corporate executives at 3M felt the need to hit back at the president in what can only be described as perhaps the most tone-deaf response of an American business during this entire pandemic.

Per CBS News:

In a statement responding to the president’s announcement, 3M said that “3M and its employees have gone above and beyond to manufacture as many N95 respirators as possible for the U.S. market.” The statement added that there would be “significant humanitarian implications” if the company followed the White House’s order to stop exporting masks made in the U.S. to Canada and Latin American countries.

“In addition, ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done. If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease. That is the opposite of what we and the Administration, on behalf of the American people, both seek,” the statement said.

3M said it was working to combat the “unethical and illegal” price gouging and unauthorized reselling of company products.

Mind you, there are Americans on the front lines of this virus in places like New York City, New Jersey, and New Orleans not only fighting to save lives but also to protect their own.

And let’s not forget that the administration just issued guidelines that all Americans should begin wearing masks when they travel outside their homes.

Of course, most Americans are sympathetic to other nations also dealing with this Chinese virus. But shouldn’t our people come first? The president obviously thinks so, and so do we. Why doesn’t 3M?

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