Afternoon Coffee: Coronavirus news updates; Amazon gets Microsoft’s JEDI Pentagon contract delayed; Boeing-FAA at odds on 737 MAX’s wiring

AdobeStock/Ivan Kruk

Amid coronavirus concerns and plummeting oil prices, stock market trading was suspended — the first time that’s happened since 1997, The Associated Press reports.

Companies that left China are still affected by its hold on supply chains

Companies that somehow managed to get out of China before the outbreak of COVID-19 became public are still grappling with one problem – China’s vice-like grip on supply chains. So strong is the country’s hold that even those industries that have shifted production beyond China cannot break the latter’s grip on supply networks, Forbes reports.

China masks, gloves exempted from U.S. tariffs

Bloomberg News reports that the U.S. administration had exempted a range of medical products imported from China, including face masks and medical gloves.

Medical masks by Medegen Medical Products, Cardinal Health exam gloves and Medline Industries Inc.’s patient cleansing wipes are among the excluded items.

Amazon gets Microsoft’s JEDI Pentagon contract delayed

A federal judge on Friday agreed with Amazon’s request for a preliminary injunction to stop Microsoft’s work on the Defense Department’s $10 billion cloud computing contract.

Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ordered the DOD to stop work on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, finding that the Pentagon incorrectly evaluated pricing from the two companies’ competing bids.

Boeing 737 MAX also faces wiring issue

U.S. aviation regulators are unhappy with Boeing’s proposal to leave wiring bundles in place on the grounded 737 MAX, Reuters reports, citing a source.

The news service reported that the FAA said it will continue to engage with Boeing to move the wiring bundles. Boeing also said Sunday it was in ongoing discussions with the FAA over the issue. Boeing could opt to make a new proposal or move the bundles or try to convince the FAA to reconsider its position, but a U.S. official said it was “unlikely” the FAA would reconsider.

The entire fleet of 737 MAX aircraft have been grounded for months over another issue: a software problem that is suspected in two crashes. The wiring issue could further delay any clearance to fly, which had been discussed for possibly resuming June.

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