U.S. healthcare supply company 3M has reached an agreement with the United States to produce 166.5 million face masks for its health-care workers, President Donald Trump announced on Monday.
Speaking during his daily COVID-19 response briefing, Trump said that the deal was a result of his actions under the Defence Production Act (DPA) and that the masks would be produced at a rate of 55.5 million a month.
“Because of my actions under the DPA, I can also announce today that we’ve reached an agreement with — a very amicable agreement — with 3M for the delivery of an additional 55.5 million high quality face masks each month,” Trump said. “So that we’re going to be getting over the next couple of months 166.5 million masks for our frontline health care workers, so the 3M saga ends very happily.”
The announcement comes on the heels of several disputes between Canada and the United States over their supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Earlier on Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said that around three to four million medical masks ordered from 3M were blocked at the border on Sunday. Ford later clarified that 500,000 of those masks were now being released to Ontario.
Last week, 3M released a statement in response to a Trump administration order to stop exporting N95 respirators to Canada and Latin America.
— With files from Amanda Connolly