The German government is accusing the U.S. government of stealing N95 masks that it had ordered from a factory based in China that’s run by American company 3M.
The Guardian reports that the German government claims that “200,000 N95 masks made by the manufacturer 3M were diverted to the U.S. as they were being transferred between planes in Thailand.”
Andreas Geisel, the interior minister for Berlin state, said that the American seizure of masks that were set to go to Germany was “an act of modern piracy” and warned that continuing to take such actions could create chaos across the globe.
“This is no way to treat trans-Atlantic partners,” Geisel said. “Even in times of global crisis there should be no wild west methods.”
Germany isn’t the only country that has been hit by Trump’s efforts to hoard masks for the United States.
Politico reports that 3M this week said “it has received a request from the Trump administration to stop exporting N95 respirators to Canada and Latin America as demand grows in the U.S.,” which prompted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to call out the president for hurting both Canada and the United States with his actions.
“These are things that Americans rely on 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,” Trudeau said.