US Accused Of 'Modern Piracy' For Redirecting Face Mask Shipment From Germany

Clay Curtis
April 6, 2020

Local official Geisel was more blunt, blasting the USA for resorting to "methods from the Wild West".

According to reports, 400,000 masks had been ordered by the German government in total, with part of the delivery - 200,000 - to be sent to healthcare workers in Berlin from Bangkok Airport.

The White House, 3M, and the German embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Goods and services are a two-way street between Canada and the U.S.

A German police officer wearing a protective face mask approaches auto driver at the German-Swiss border after Germany announced border controls, March 16, 2020. For the first time, Lufthansa used a passenger plane for cargo purposes. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images) French Prime minister Edouard Philippe said Thursday that his administration has seen orders canceled as a result of the global shortage of protective gear. Some French officials are blaming unidentified Americans for swooping in to outbid them as they try to secure supplies. "We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their Masks", he tweeted. "They offered three times the price and they proposed to pay up-front". "Of course this is more attractive for those who just seek to turn a profit on the back of the world's distress".

3M is an important supplier to Canada and Latin America, and "the sole provider in many cases of the respiratory protection for healthcare workers in countries around the world", he said, adding that exports to Canada and Latin America represent a "small proportion" of the company's USA production.

"A French order was bought out with cash by Americans on the tarmac, and the plane that was to fly to France took off for the U.S. instead", Muselier said.

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The manufacurer was also reported as saying the administration had asked it to stop exporting medical-grade masks to Canada and Latin America, raising "significant humanitarian implications".

"This shipment was produced by an American company that produces these masks in China and, as we've learned, American officials simply confiscated 200,000 masks".

The head of the Grand Est region in France, Jean Rottner, told RTL radio that his representatives had been outbid by rivals from the US when they were trying to source masks.

The Trump administration has been accused of pursuing a haphazard, "every man for himself" policy on equipment needed to deal with the pandemic.

France has ordered 1 billion face masks due to be delivered within the next 14 weeks and has deployed an air-bridge flight with China to deliver them amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

A shipment of masks made by U.S. manufacturer 3M that was bound for Germany was diverted from Thailand and sent to the United States instead, according to a report from the Financial Times. "Reports to the contrary are completely false". The president has promised that France will be able to produce all the masks it needs domestically by the end of the year as the administration works to ramp up production.

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