President Trump announces face mask manufacturing deal with 3M after negotiations
WASHINGTON D.C.- President Donald Trump announced the "saga" between his administration and 3M has come to an end with the finalization of a deal that will see the manufacturer supplying millions of masks for health care workers.
Trump announced at the coronavirus task force briefing that the White House "reached an agreement, very amicable, with 3M for the delivery of an additional 55.5 million high-quality face masks each month."
President Trump said 3M would produce 166.5 million masks in total, nearly all N95s.
"Mostly that's going to be for our front line health care workers," he said.
The government's decision to use the Defense Production Act was "key" to shifting the trajectory of negotiations between the two sides, a senior administration official said.
A clash between 3M executives and senior Trump administration officials spilled into public view after Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, with the company's CEO saying it was "absurd" to suggest his company wasn't doing all it could to maximize supplies to the US. Peter Navarro, Trump's trade adviser and Defense Production Act coordinator, had accused 3M of "whining" and "acting like a sovereign nation."
The President praised 3M and its CEO just days after blasting the company for selling masks overseas despite the shortage in the United States. On Saturday, President Trump told the company to "get their act together" and said administration officials "don't frankly like" the company's representatives.
"The 3M saga ends very happily," Trump said. "We are very proud to be doing that with 3M."
The overwhelming majority of the masks will come from 3M's Chinese factories, the senior administration official said.
The company's executives' attitude "changed completely" after Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, one official said.
The Defense Production Act can be used to explain to foreign clients why they have no choice but to divert their supply to the US.
The official warned that China could try and block the deal. China had previously authorized 3M to ship an additional 10 million masks a month to the US from a factory in China.