3M refutes reports seizure personal protective equipment by US authorities 3M has issued a statement to the police in Berlin in response to media reports that a shipment of 3M personal protective equipment (PPE) that was bound for Germany was seized and diverted by U.S. authorities in Thailand on Friday, April 3, while in transit from a 3M China facility.
“3M has no evidence to suggest 3M products have been seized. 3M has no record of any order of respirators from China for the Berlin police. We cannot speculate where this report originated.”
The company will cooperate with the German authorities to try to determine if this false report is the result of fraudulent activity and emphasised it is committed to combatting any illegal activity in connection with its products.
To that end, the company is working with law enforcement authorities. In addition, 3M has offered to cooperate with all countries seeking to verify the authenticity of offers to sell respirators.
Despite criticism from the White House, 3M says will ‘continue to maximise’ the number of respirators it can produce for healthcare workers in the U.S. and worldwide.
After it formally invoked the Defense Production Act, the US administration requested that 3M increase the number of respirators that it currently imports from its overseas operations into the U.S.
Already, the company has secured approval from China for a shipment of some 10 million N95 respirators manufactured by 3M in China, to the US.
Also, the company has doubled its global output rate to nearly 100 million respirators per month and expects to produce about 50 million respirators per month in the U.S. by June 2020.
It further anticipates doubling its global capacity to almost 2 billion respirators in the next 12 months. In response to reports of price gouging, the company emphasises that it has not increased the prices it charges for 3M respirators in this crisis.
Following the administration’s request for 3M to cease exporting respirators currently manufactured in the United States to the Canadian and Latin American markets, the company pointed to the ‘significant humanitarian implications’ of such a decision.
Moreover, ceasing all export of respirators produced in the United States could lead to retaliatory action on the part of other countries, said 3M.
“If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease. That is the opposite of what we and the administration, on behalf of the American people, both seek,” the company stressed in the statement issued.