OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
While many American companies are stepping up the plate and doing the country proud, some are not. One of those companies that is not at the moment is 3M.
They are not putting AMERICA FIRST.
Jared Moskowitz, Florida’s director of emergency management was interviewed by Tucker Carlson last night regarding his inability to purchase masks from 3M.
Moskowitz described the process of “chasing down” 3M authorized dealers as “chasing ghosts.”
“I just decided to turn up the heat and tell people what is actually happening in the 3M mask space,” he said before telling the Fox News host about a “frightening” conversation with one of the company’s government relations representatives.
“The system is completely broken,” he said. “The authorized distributors who right now can’t tell me a timeline when I will receive my masks, orders that I put in a month ago. By the way, the terms and conditions are I’ve got to pay for the masks and can’t cancel my order. 3M has lost total control.”
“What I asked 3M is that, ‘are they aware they are authorized distributors?’” he continued. “U.S. companies are telling me the reason why our orders are being pushed down is because foreign countries are showing up with cash to purchase the orders, and when I told 3M that, not only did they not dispute it, I asked them if they put any guidelines to prevent the behavior and the answer was ‘no.’”
Hi @3M. I’m your new Troll. I’m the Director of Emergency Management for the State of Florida @FLSERT. Please send us N95 masks directly to our hospitals, first responders and the state. How many brokers and distributors do we have to negotiate with only to find empty warehouses? https://t.co/0E3gLc3R5t
— Jared Moskowitz (@JaredEMoskowitz) March 30, 2020
— Jared Moskowitz (@JaredEMoskowitz) April 2, 2020
3M told Moskowitz they are making 10 million masks a week but then told him they do not have any masks to sell him.
President Donald Trump is having none of it. He is invoking P again.
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
3M is getting slammed with bad publicity. One of their biggest critics has been Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
“3M lists all its distributors online, the ones buying and selling these things, and these distributors are making as much money as they possibly can,” Cuban told Bloomberg News, adding that the resellers don’t have to sell the masks to hospitals. “It’s wrong, it’s criminal.”
Cuban explained that, until recently, 3M had been selling the masks exclusively to distributors instead of sending these masks directly healthcare providers. Cuban accused 3M of sitting on the sidelines while their distributors increased prices.
“It would have been very easy for them to say very strongly, ‘If you don’t sell if you don’t take the inventory we’re providing you and sell directly to hospitals and healthcare providers that need the masks, when your contract comes up, we’re going to end that contract,'” Cuban told Fox News. “But that’s not what they did. And I have a huge problem with that. “
We conservatives often push back on Democrats constant demonizing of greedy corporations. But, as 3M demonstrates, sometime corporations are straight-up greedy. The American people and companies that purchase 3M products should not forget the way 3M has handled this crisis.
3M Pushes Back
3M, a key maker of N95 respirator masks, is arguing against a Trump administration request to keep U.S.-made masks in the domestic market, saying the policy could backfire by triggering retaliation. Trump signed a Defense Production Act order Thursday specifically aimed at 3M, requiring the company to prioritize orders from the U.S. government.
3M claims that if they do not sell masks to foreign entities, there will be less masks available for U.S. customers.
“If that were to occur, the net number of respirators being made available to the United States would actually decrease,” 3M said. “That is the opposite of what we and the Administration, on behalf of the American people, both seek.”
That is some seriously fuzzy math. Maybe common core math? The U.S. has has a lot of unfulfilled demand. 3M needs to better explain their position on this.
3M does have a humanitarian argument for foreign sales. 3M notes that they are the sole provider of masks for some other countries in the world.
“There are, however, significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies to healthcare workers in Canada and Latin America, where we are a critical supplier of respirators,” 3M said.
This does present a tough situation. It is understandable that 3M does not want to cut off customers who depend solely on them. This issue highlights a huge problem of globalism. Countries naturally want to prioritize their own needs in times of crisis. This is why each country needs to have adequate stockpiles and capability to manufacture their own medical supplies, drugs, and other emergency equipment. Now is not the time when you want to be dependent on a foreign entity for critical needs.
3M acknowledges that the price gouging has to end and denounces it. They have issued a press release in response to the invocation of the Defense Production Act.
Despite the fact that 3M is between a rock and a hard place, it is still shocking that 3M is standing by its decision not to prioritize American orders.