(USA Features) The Trump administration announced Wednesday it will halt exports of vital health equipment and supplies such as N95 mask and other personal protective equipment due coronavirus-caused shortages.
Officials with the Department of Homeland Security said Customs and Border Protection officials plan to detain any shipments at ports and give the Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) the opportunity to approve or reject the shipment based on current U.S. needs.
Depending on what FEMA personnel decide, the administration will either allow the order to be exported, require it to be returned to the U.S., or purchase it outright.
Customs and Border Protection said it will detain any shipments at the ports and give the Federal Emergency Management Agency a chance to OK or reject the export, based on U.S. needs amid the coronavirus crisis, the Washington Times reported.
“FEMA and CBP are working together to prevent domestic brokers, distributors, and other intermediaries from diverting these critical medical resources overseas,” CBP said in a statement.
The various federal agencies said they are operating under President Donald Trump’s invocation of the Defense Production Act.
The president has been extremely critical of U.S. companies that manufacture PPE and have continued to give foreign customers preference over U.S. needs.
He has said that Americans should always come before others, especially now during the outbreak.