Is big brother US scooping up medical supplies worldwide?

Chennai: America’s method of scooping up medical supplies worldwide has not been received well by the people of several nations including Canada and Germany.

At a time when the entire world is suffering from the coronavirus pandemic, there is a global shortage of medical supply. With US President Donald Trump administration scrambling to secure more protective masks for the US healthcare workers, it has sparked tension with allies including Canada and Germany.

According to reports, the White House had recently ordered Minnesota mask manufacturer 3M to prioritise US orders over foreign demand, using its authority under the Defence Production Act, or DPA. The Trump administration has asked 3M to stop exporting the masks to Canada and Latin America, and to import more from 3M’s factories in China.

Officials in Berlin criticised the US over what they said was the diversion of 200,000 masks that were enroute from China. However the statement was later backtracked making it unclear whether the shipment had gone to US.
Meanwhile, Brazil and France officials have complained that the US was outbidding them in the global market place for critical medical supplies.

The United States emphatically denied the allegations. “The United States government has not purchased any masks intended for delivery from China to France,” the U.S. Embassy in Paris wrote in a statement. “Reports to the contrary are completely false.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government has been “forcefully” reminding American counterparts that trade “goes both ways across the border.”

Thousands of nurses in Windsor, Ontario, he noted, travel to Detroit each day to work in hospitals there. “These are things that Americans rely on,” Trudeau said, “and it would be a mistake to create blockages or reduce the amount of back-and-forth trade of essential goods and services, including medical goods, across our border.”


NT Bureau