In a highly surprising turn of events, President Donald Trump has announced that 3M will now supply around 55.5 million masks on a monthly basis for healthcare professionals in the United States. After days of conflict between 3M and the White House, over the U.S. President’s invoking of the DPA (Defense Production Act), forcing the former to keep domestic orders on priority, both the parties seem to have reached a decision, providing respite.
As per sources familiar with the knowledge of the matter, 3M will be importing 5.5 million N95 masks/month, from its production facilities in China, exclusively for healthcare workers in the United States. This adds up to a total of 166.5 million masks over the span of the next three months. These imports will be an addition to the 35 million masks that are presently in production, in the U.S. All of these however, are not scheduled to be provided to the U.S., claims Mike Roman, CEO, 3M.
Originally, the White House had wanted the company to halt exports to all countries and continue mask manufacturing and supply only to the United States. However, reports suggest that 3M had refused to do so, citing humanitarian implications and the fear of retaliation by other countries. In response, Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, forcing 3M to prioritize orders from the federal government as opposed to other countries.
However, it seems as though both the parties have now resolved their issues. In fact, Trump was quoted saying that the White House is very proud to be dealing with 3M.
As per sources familiar with the knowledge of the matter, the deal signed with the White House will enable the company to continue its exports to Canada and Latin America.
Post the announcement, 3M’s shares rose 5.2%, in after-hours trading on Monday.