The president unveiled the new order amid a dispute with U.S. manufacturing giant 3M, which had warned the Trump administration that halting its exports of respirator masks could make them even less available in the United States.
“We’re not happy with 3M. We’re not at all happy with 3M. And the people who dealt with it directly are not happy with 3M,” Trump said at a White House press briefing Friday evening.
Under the new order, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf will work with FEMA to “prevent the export of N-95 respirators, surgical masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment,” Trump said.
“We need these items immediately for domestic use, we have to have ’em,” the president added.