Friday on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” 3M’s Chief Executive Mike Roman said President Donald Trump’s criticism over the distribution of its masks amid the coronavirus pandemic “is just not true.”
We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their Masks. “P Act” all the way. Big surprise to many in government as to what they were doing – will have a big price to pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2020
When asked to respond to the tweet, Roman said, “Let me say this, the idea that 3M is not doing all it can to fight price gouging and unauthorized reselling is absurd. The idea that we’re not doing everything we can to maximize deliveries of respirators in our home country, nothing is further from the truth. We’re doing everything we can to maximize our efforts and to fight COVID-19 and to support the health care workers here at home in the U.S.”
He continued, “We are doing everything—we have increased our production by millions and millions, and we are bringing more respirators in from China. We are importing—we are happy to shift our overseas production to the U.S., but there will be consequences on a humanitarian level as we are the sole and often the sole provider of those respirators in countries around the world where we put manufacturing to support them in just this kind of circumstance. We will comply, and we are taking steps to increase our import where we have that ability. As the COVID-19 outbreak in China has subsided, we’ve been able to work to prioritize and allocate more products, get approval to bring products from China into the U.S. We have 10 million now starting to ship. Ten million on a monthly level shipping. This week we’re looking to expand from there. We’re anxious to work with the administration to do just that. In the meantime, we will comply with the Defense Production Act, and we will continue to expand our capacity and manufacturing in the U.S. as we have laid out. We’ll double again what we’re producing in the U.S.”
He added, “How the narrative was presented overnight—the narrative that is propagated broadly and the focus there, it is just not true. We are doing everything. The employees of 3M around the world are working around-the-clock in the United States to deliver and continue to increase. We saw this in January. We decided to double our production in January, long before anyone called for a call or a big step up in the United States—we engaged with the administration at the end of February and were transparent about what we produce around the world, including the U.S., and with our plans. We have been in constant discussions with them about how to best work with them—we will continue to do that. We’re working with FEMA now effectively to prioritize where products go. The idea that we’re not doing everything we can as a company is not true.”
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