'The 3M saga ends very happily': Trump strikes deal with 3M to import 55 million N95 masks per month
- President Trump has struck a deal with 3M to import 55 million N95 respirator masks a month for the next three months.
- The imported masks will bolster the industrials giant's domestic production of 35 million masks per month.
- "So the 3M saga ends very happily," Trump said.
- 3M expects to double its global N95 output to 2 billion within 12 months, and ramp up US production to 50 million masks per month in June.
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President Donald Trump has struck a deal with 3M to address domestic shortages of N95 respirator masks by importing 55 million of them a month for the next three months.
"So the 3M saga ends very happily," Trump said at a press briefing on Monday.
The industrials giant behind Post-its and Scotch tape currently produces 35 million masks per month in the US. The new deal will supplement that output with masks produced overseas - primarily in China - in an effort to equip more US healthcare workers with the industry standard as they deal with surging numbers of novel coronavirus patients.
The agreement also allows 3M to continue exporting N95 masks to Canada and Latin America. The company warned last week of "significant humanitarian implications" in those areas if it was forced to halt supplies in order to meet US demand.
Trump signed a Defense Production Act order last week to force 3M to prioritize the nation's mask needs. 3M cautioned that if the US halted exports of protective equipment, other countries could retaliate by doing the same.
The company has doubled its global output to 100 million masks per month since January, and expects to double its capacity again to 2 billion within 12 months, it said in a press release.
It also intends to ramp up US output to 50 million masks a month in June - a 40% increase from current levels.
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