3M fires back at Trump over order to produce more face masks

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives to address Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa Ontario Friday

"It's like one of your family members (says), 'OK, you go starve and we'll go feast on the rest of the meal.' I'm just so disappointed right now", Ford said Saturday.

"3M distributors need to IMMEDIATELY stop the export of N95 masks to foreign countries while we need them here", Republican congressman Lance Gooden fumed. "We need the masks. We only are getting some relief from not being able to export out of Korea". "If people don't give us what we need for our people, we're going to be very tough, and we've been very tough".

Either way, if what Ford says is true, Canada won't need to rely on the USA or any other country for PPE much longer. The respirators have become critical tools for health professionals around the world in the fight against the coronavirus. "If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease", the statement added.

The N95 respirator mask is a crucial piece of equipment, especially for healthcare workers treating infected patients because it contains a filter that removes the coronavirus from air breathed by the user.

"I am confident that the close and deep relationship between Canada and USA will hold strong, and that we will not have to see interruptions in supply chain in either direction", stated Trudeau.

"We know that it is in both of our interests to continue to work collaboratively and corporately to keep our citizens safe", he said. But until the retooled assembly lines are up to speed, Trudeau is looking for immediate sources of supplies. Mr. Trudeau called the move a "mistake", but as of Friday evening President Donald Trump was unmoved by Canada's urging to reverse the order.

Several French regional officials said this past week that the United States government had prevented masks from going to France by bidding higher.

Justin Trudeau is promising that Canada will soon receive millions of medical masks.

He added that Canada has also leased a warehouse in China to help collect and distribute the emergency items.

On March 15 the European Union also imposed limits on exports of critical medical supplies.

In another sign of the global shortage of materials, New York's governor Andrew Cuomo commended China for the 1,000 ventilators it sent to the state which is at the epicentre of the USA crisis. He recalled "shaking and anger" on both sides when he assumed the post late past year.

Trudeau defended Canada's coronavirus testing program, saying it had done more than the United States.

The Ontario government announced in a press conference on Friday that they would be working towards creating more protective equipment here in Canada.

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