President Donald Trump has ordered the Minnesota-based mega mask producer 3M to prioritize domestic orders, and to stop exporting masks to Canada and Latin America as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe.
According to the Washington Post, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not taking kindly to the interference.
“These are things that Americans rely on,” Trudeau said, “and it would be a mistake to create blockages or reduce the amount of back-and-forth trade of essential goods and services, including medical goods, across our border.”
Other allies have also lodged accusations against the United States.
German officials claimed that over 200,000 masks en route from China were diverted to the United States; France and Brazil complained that the United States was outbidding them in their attempts to secure needed supplies.
Andreas Geisel, Berlin’s interior minister, called it “an act of modern piracy.” 3M said that it had no reports of equipment being seized.
In an interview with CNBC, 3M Chief Executive Michael Roman said that the company is “the sole provider in many cases of the respiratory protection for health-care workers in countries around the world.”
“Ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same, as some have already done,” 3M added in a statement.