3M and the Trump Administration announced a plan to import 166.5 million respirators from China over the next three months to support healthcare workers in the US. 3M and the Administration worked together to ensure that this plan does not create further humanitarian implications for countries currently fighting the COVID-19 outbreak and committed to further collaborate to fight price gouging and counterfeiting.
According to 3M, the Administration is committed to working to address and remove export and regulatory restrictions to enable this plan. The plan will also enable 3M to continue sending US produced respirators to Canada and Latin America, where 3M is the primary source of supply.
“I want to thank President Trump and the Administration for their leadership and collaboration. We share the same goals of providing much-needed respirators to Americans across our country and combating criminals who seek to take advantage of the current crisis. These imports will supplement the 35 million N95 respirators we currently produce per month in the US,” said 3M chairman and CEO Mike Roman.
“Given the reality that demand for respirators outpaces supply, we are working around the clock to further expand our capacity, while prioritizing and redirecting our supplies to serve the most critical areas,” continued Roman. “We’ll continue to do all we can to protect our heroic healthcare workers and first responders, and I want to thank our 96,000 3Mers for your tireless efforts – including those in our plants and distribution centres around the world.”
As a global company, 3M has manufacturing operations around the world to serve local and regional markets. As the pandemic unfolds in different stages across the globe, 3M will continue to work with governments to direct respirators and other supplies to serve areas most in need.
Beginning in January, 3M ramped up production of N95 respirators and doubled its global output to 1.1 billion per year, including the 35 million a month in the US. 3M has already put into motion additional investments and actions that will enable it to double its capacity again to 2 billion globally within 12 months, with additional capacity to begin coming online in the next 60 to 90 days. In the US, for example, 3M expects to be producing N95 respirators at a rate of 50 million per month in June, a 40 percent increase from current levels.
On 3 April, the Trump Administration had invoked the Defense Production Act to compel 3M to supply N95 respirators after complaints arose last week about 3M exports of US-produced masks to Canada and Latin America.
This article courtesy of Russell Thrall III, publisher CollisionWeek. Check out their website at: www.collisionweek.com.