The White House has requested that mask producer 3M stop sending US-made masks to other countries including Canada, Bloomberg reports.
“In the course of our collaboration with the Administration this past weekend, the Administration requested that 3M increase the amount of respirators we currently import from our overseas operations into the U.S. We appreciate the assistance of the Administration to do exactly that,” said the company in a statement.
“The Administration also requested that 3M cease exporting respirators that we currently manufacture in the United States to the Canadian and Latin American markets. 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 follows a tweet from US president Trump saying that 3M would have a "big price to pay" and suggesting the company would be subject to the Defense Production Act.
3M also said in a statement that they are cracking down on price gougers who attempt to sell their masks at a higher markup.
The 3M controversy bubbled up on Thursday night when Florida Director of Emergency Management Jared Moskowitz appeard on Tucker Carlson Tonight to allege that 3M had been prioritizing foreign countries who are paying cash in advance for the sale of N-95 masks.