what i’m worried about is the ventilators (machines), not the respirators (masks)

Customs to seize exports of masks and gloves amid coronavirus pandemic
Tal Axelrod, The Hill, Apr 8 2020

The federal government will begin seizing exports of personal protective equipment, or PPE, until it decides if the tools should be kept in the country to fight the coronavirus. Pindo Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Wednesday it will prevent respirators, surgical masks and surgical gloves from leaving the country. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will then determine if the equipment should be returned, purchased by the government or exported. The two agencies said in a joint statement:

FEMA and CBP are working together to prevent domestic brokers, distributors, and other intermediaries from diverting these critical medical resources overseas.

The announcement comes days after Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) to stop the flow of critical equipment outside of the country. The White House said in a statement:

Today’s order is another step in our ongoing fight to prevent hoarding, price gouging, and profiteering by preventing the harmful export of critically needed PPE. It will help ensure that needed PPE is kept in our country and gets to where it is needed to defeat the virus.

Trump clarified last week he will not prevent the sale of any PPE to other countries with “long-term orders,” particularly if they are dealing with significant coronavirus outbreaks. Foreign governments have panned the White House’s decision, suggesting it could lead to retaliation and obstruct international cooperation. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday:

These are things that Pindos 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.

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