3M Company on Friday said that it would ramp up the production of respirators and import more face masks into the United States. The announcement comes after President Donald Trump slammed the company and ordered the manufacturing giant to produce more face masks to fight the deadly coronavirus.
Trump has been slamming quite a few big American companies asking them to speed up production of medical equipment and protective gear like face masks, ventilators, hand gloves and sanitizers. The United States has been struggling to contain the spread of the virus, with more than 245,000 affected by coronavirus of which more than 7,000 have died.
3M follows Trump's ultimatum
Trump on Thursday had said that if 3M fails to follow his orders and ramp up production of ventilators and face masks, it "will have a big price to pay". Following that, the Minnesota-based 3M on Friday said that it will work closely with Federal Emergency Management Agency and prioritize production of masks at the earliest to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
3M also said that it has secured China's approval to export to the US around 10 million N-95 respirators manufactured by the company in China. 3M has operations in China where bulk of its production happens. US trade advisor, Peter Navarro said that Trump had some issues and wanted that enough of masks that are being manufactured by 3M in its facilities across the world comes is imported back to the US so that they can be supplied among its people and healthcare workers to fight the coronavirus.
3M gives in to Trump's aggression
Trump has been quite critical of 3M over the past few days. On Thursday he slammed 3M in a tweet. "Big surprise to many in government as to what they were doing – will have a big price to pay!" Trump had tweeted. Trump even invoked Defense Production Act so that he could get more N-95 respirators from 3M.
This was in an attempt to help ease the shortage of protective gears required by healcare staff to fight the coronavirus patients. The Defense Production Act, passed in 1950, gives the US president the power to expand industrial production of important items required for national safety and security if need arises. 3M earlier this week said that it plans to churn out 2 billion N-95 respirators globally over the next 12 months.