Trump Announces Mask Deal with 3M

CNN reports, President Donald Trump announced a deal with 3M that will see the manufacturer import more than 166 million respirators from China over the next three months and allow 3M to continue exporting its US-made respirators.

Trump announced that the White House had “reached an agreement, very amicable, with 3M for the delivery of an additional 55.5 million high-quality face masks each month,” nearly all N95s.

“Mostly that’s going to be for our front line health care workers,” he said.

The clash with 3M began on Thursday when Donald Trump invoked the 1950 Defense Production Act giving the government “any or all authority” to stop 3M exporting N95 respirators to Canada and Latin America, and was key to shifting the trajectory of negotiations between the two sides.

After Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, the company’s CEO Mike Roman said it was “absurd” to suggest his company wasn’t doing all it could to maximize supplies to the US.

Trump on Saturday told 3M to “get their act together,” blasting the company for continuing to sell some masks overseas and said administration officials “don’t frankly like” the company’s representatives.

3M officials had previously defended their position and said it was necessary to do so to maintain overall supply levels in the US, fearing retaliation from international companies the US relies on for imports of masks.

After the deal Trump praised 3M and Roman, and said he spoke with Roman earlier Monday to thank him for striking the deal.

“The 3M saga ends very happily,” Trump said. “We are very proud to be doing that with 3M.”

The overwhelming majority of the masks will come from 3M’s Chinese factories, the senior administration official said. 3M’s executives attitude “changed completely” after Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, one official said.

“It’s a new relationship,” the official said. “They realized we weren’t f—ing around.”

3M officials had no choice other than to work out a deal, and realized that they could use the Defense Production Act to explain to foreign clients why they have no choice but to divert their supply to the US.

According to CNN, the official warned that China could try and block the deal.

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: (Photo by Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

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