Afternoon Coffee: China warns of tariff retaliation; $10B military procurement deal under review; Under Armour revamp succeeds; cybersecurity toolkit for supply chains

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On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced he was planning to impose additional tariffs on Chinese goods, starting Sept. 1. On Friday, China vowed retaliation, Reuters reports. In all this, economists and retailers are worried about the effects on global growth and supply chains.

Defense Secretary orders review of JEDI cloud procurement

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has asked for a review of the military's process of procuring its $10 billion commercial cloud program, according to the tech news website CRN. This comes about two weeks after the Trump administration announced the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) would be scrutinized. A spokesperson for the Defense Department said the selection of an enterprise cloud vendor would not be done until the examination was over.

Bottom line gets a boost with Under Armour's supply chain simplification

Under Armour spent years organizing and streamlining its supply chain, but ultimately the effort has paid off, Supply Chain Dive reports. Under Armour's gross margins were up 46.5% in the second quarter due to this. CEO Kevin Plank described the brand's turnaround plan as an attempt to be "a much quieter company and a much louder brand," on an earnings call this week, reports the Dive, which also wrote this:

“Simplifying its supply chain came with costs of its own. Executives put costs related to facility and lease terminations, contract terminations, inventory-related charges and asset-related impairments at more than $240 million for 2017 and 2018. But with margins rising and inventory shrinking, the work looks to have had the desired effect.”

Auto group, cybersecurity firm launch supply chain toolkit

The Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) and NQC — a company working in cyberthreat detection — have launched "The Supply Safe," a suite of cybersecurity tools to help automotive suppliers compare their current cybersecurity capabilities to industry best practices, the group said in a news release. The suite includes a third-party virtual audit and will enable suppliers to examine their overall cybersecurity efforts.

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