PLATTSBURGH – Interrupting the back and forth interaction between the US and Canada regarding health care products and services will be “an act of self-harm,” said the local chamber leader.
In a presidential memorandum issued Friday, President Donald Trump directed US Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to use “all and all authorities” under the Defense Production Act to stop exporting N-95 masks and other respirators as well as surgical masks, gloves or surgical gloves to other countries, including Canada.
“Over and over again, we have finally dealt with Canada swept into various trade restrictions,” said President of the North State Chamber of Commerce Garry Douglas in a statement.
“Canada and the US have highly integrated manufacturing and supply chains.
We make things together and, as neighbors, must always handle things like this pandemic together. “
HOPE FOR THE RIGHT RESULTS
Douglas suggested not to interfere “with the back and forth interaction between Canada and the US regarding health care products and services.”
He noted that hundreds of nurses, doctors, and other Canadian health care professionals currently meet the needs of North Country hospitals.
“The dynamics in this situation between Canada and the US have nothing in common with legitimate concerns about China or perhaps other global locations,” Douglas said.
“We know that urgent talks are ongoing and hope that the right results are achieved, for the benefit of Americans and Canadians together.”
North Country Congress Member Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) said the region’s relations with Canada were “extraordinary and will continue.”
“We face a difficult shortage of PPE in my district and throughout our country,” he continued.
“I have been in contact with the Canadian ambassador during the COVID-19 crisis to ensure we are working together to overcome the shortcomings of PPE in my district and our neighbors in the North.
Our priority going forward is to improve our manufacturing capabilities in America and North America so that we no longer depend on China for the production of life-saving products, be it drugs, ventilators or PPE. “
Stefanik’s predecessor, Plattsburgh’s lawyer, Bill Owens, said making sure the US had an adequate PPE supply and ventilators also made sense.
But he argued that Trump’s order emerged from a “tiff” with 3M, the main producer of N-95 masks, and “failed to recognize that we were importing a large amount of this supply from China.”
“Because of the nature of this pandemic, it’s likely we need to continue to depend on other countries that have the production capacity to help the US,” Owens said.
“Unfortunately, this reflects the insular nature of this government.”
Calls by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other heads of state to try to work together make more sense both short and long term, Owens continued.
“Then again, if these governments begin preparations in January when they have intelligence warnings about the possibility of this situation, most of this chaos can be avoided.
I guess it’s more in the public interest to let your friends sell shares and avoid losses. “
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