Spotlight

Since publication this infographic has been amended. The original version stated the NDIS was scaled back. There are no planned cuts to the funding of the NDIS.

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Trump Urges California to Let Tesla Resume Assembly Plant

Tesla | May 13, 2020

On Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said production was resuming at the automaker’s sole US vehicle factory, defying an order to stay closed and saying if anyone had to be arrested, it should be him. Supporting that Trump on the Twitter writes, "California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW. It can be done Fast & Safely!" Tesla shares were up 1.1% at $820.44 in late trading on Tuesday. U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday urged that Tesla Inc be allowed to reopen its electric vehicle assembly plant in California, joining CEO Elon Musk’s bid to defy county officials who have ordered it to remain closed. “California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW. It can be done Fast & Safely!” Trump wrote on Twitter. On Monday, Musk said production was resuming at the automaker’s sole U.S. vehicle factory, defying an order to stay closed and saying if anyone had to be arrested, it should be he. Musk tweeted “Thank you!” in response to Trump on Tuesday. Tesla shares were up 1.1% at $820.44 in late trading on Tuesday. Read More: Tech Companies Back Federal Government’s COVID-19 Response Initiatives Employee-parking lots at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California were packed with cars on Tuesday. Trucks could be seen driving in and out of the factory grounds. At the Fremont factory’s outbound logistics parking lot, where only a dozen Tesla cars were parked last week, hundreds of Tesla vehicles were seen on Tuesday. Tesla has planned to fully reopen its battery plant in Nevada, the Verge reported late Tuesday, citing an internal email. According to a Reuters report last week, Tesla said it had begun limited operations at its Gigafactories in Nevada and New York. The company, which on Saturday sued Alameda County, where the plant is located, over its decision that the plant should stay closed, did not comment on Trump’s tweet. Late on Monday, county health officials said they were aware Tesla had opened beyond the so-called minimum basic operations allowed during lockdown, and had notified the company it could not operate without a county-approved plan. A county health official on Friday said the county had asked all manufacturers, including Tesla, to delay operations by at least another week to monitor infection and hospitalization rates. Scott Haggerty, the Alameda County supervisor for the district where Tesla’s factory is located, told the New York Times on Saturday that the county had been working to permit Tesla to resume operations on May 18 - the same day other U.S. automakers have been permitted to resume production in other states. Haggerty on Tuesday accused Musk on Twitter of misrepresenting what he had told the newspaper. Tesla on Saturday released a plan to keep workers returning to the factory safe. The measures, which include temperature screenings, the installation of barriers to separate work areas and protective equipment for workers, are similar to those set up by Detroit-based automakers General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler. Trump is eager for the U.S. economy to reopen and for Americans to return to work. He has sparred with California for years over a series of issues, including immigration, vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, funding for high-speed rail and numerous environmental issues. Trump has met with Musk on several occasions during his presidency. He had spoken with Musk several days ago and that the Tesla founder’s concerns helped prompt the state to begin its phased reopening of manufacturing last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom. States and cities around the United States are experimenting with ways to reopen their economies safely after the coronavirus outbreak shuttered businesses and forced tens of millions of Americans out of work. Musk over the weekend threatened to leave California for Texas or Nevada over his factory’s closure. His move has highlighted the competition for jobs and ignited a rush to woo the billionaire executive by states that have reopened their economies more quickly in response to encouragement from Trump. Tesla also has a vehicle plant in Shanghai and is building another in Berlin. Its lawsuit on Saturday alleged that Alameda County had violated California’s constitution by defying Newsom’s orders allowing manufacturers to reopen. Newsom’s office did not immediately comment on Tuesday. In the past, Musk has discussed opening a second U.S. factory outside California. In a tweet in February, he solicited comments on potentially opening a factory in Texas. Read More: ForAllSecure Announces Mayhem Being Deployed Across U.S. DoD Branches About Tesla Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicles in addition to renewable energy generation and storage. California-based Tesla is committed to having the best-in-class in safety, performance, and reliability in all Tesla cars.

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Trump Government Moves to Cut off Huawei from Global Chip Suppliers

Huawei | May 19, 2020

U.S. Department of Commerce announced plans to restrict Chinese vendor Huawei’s ability to use U.S. chipmaking equipment and software to design and manufacture its semiconductors abroad. The U.S. government believes that Huawei has continued to use U.S. software and technology to design semiconductors. Huawei is undertaking a comprehensive examination of this new rule. We expect that our business will inevitably be affected. We will try all we can to seek a solution. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce announced plans to restrict Chinese vendor Huawei’s ability to use U.S. chipmaking equipment and software to design and manufacture its semiconductors abroad. In a statement, BIS said that the move “cuts off Huawei’s efforts to undermine U.S. export controls,” and that the government agency is amending its longstanding foreign-produced direct product rule and the Entity List to “narrowly and strategically target Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain U.S. software and technology.” Huawei was added to the Entity List in May 2019, after the Department of Commerce concluded that the vendor was engaged in activities that were contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interests. Read More: Isotropic Systems Announces Antenna Evaluation and Development Contract with U.S. Defense Innovation Unit However, the U.S. government believes that Huawei has continued to use U.S. software and technology to design semiconductors and says that the company is therefore “undermining the national security and foreign policy purposes of the Entity List by commissioning their production in overseas foundries using U.S. equipment.” Despite the Entity List actions the Department took last year, Huawei and its foreign affiliates have stepped-up efforts to undermine these national security-based restrictions through an indigenization effort. However, that effort is still dependent on U.S. technologies. We must amend our rules exploited by Huawei and HiSilicon and prevent U.S. technologies from enabling malign activities contrary to U.S. national security and foreign policy interests, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Under the new regulation, companies using U.S. chipmaking technology — including foreign chipmakers –will be required to obtain a license before supplying components to Huawei. BIS also said that a waiver will be granted for items already in production as of May 15, provided that they are shipped within 120 days. However, as CNBC reported, there is no indication that BIS will actually provide such licenses, and the new rules will have a huge impact on Huawei due to its heavy reliance on Taiwan’s TSMC, which uses American equipment to manufacture the majority of Huawei’s smartphone chips. “This decision by the U.S. government does not just affect Huawei. It will have a serious impact on a wide number of global industries. In the long run, this will damage the trust and collaboration within the global semiconductor industry which many industries depend on, increasing conflict and loss within these industries,” Huawei said in a statement. “Huawei is undertaking a comprehensive examination of this new rule. We expect that our business will inevitably be affected. We will try all we can to seek a solution. We hope that our customers and suppliers will continue to stand with us and minimize the impact of this discriminatory rule,” Huawei added. Also, the Department of Commerce announced that it will extend the Temporary General License (TGL) for Huawei and its non-U.S. affiliates which are subject to the Entity List, until August 13. The TGL authorizes U.S. companies to make specific, limited engagements in transactions involving the export, reexport, and transfer of items to the Chinese vendor. The initial TGL was granted in May 19, 2019 and had been extended several times since then. “The 90-day extension provides an opportunity for users of Huawei devices and telecommunication providers—particularly those in rural U.S. communities—to continue to temporarily operate such devices and existing networks while hastening the transition to alternative suppliers,” DoC said. “The Department is also notifying the public that activities authorized in the TGL may be revised and possibly eliminated after August 13, 2020. Companies and persons relying on TGL authorizations should begin preparations to determine the specific, quantifiable impact of elimination if they have not done so already.” Outside of the scope of the TGL, any exports, reexports, or in-country transfers of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) will continue to require a license, if granted, after a review by BIS under a presumption of denial, the Department of Commerce said. However, this general license does not cover transactions between U.S. semiconductor manufacturers such as Qualcomm, Intel and Micron and Huawei. These companies are required to apply for special permits in order to continue supplying chips to the Chinese vendor. Read More: The U.S. Department of Commerce to Allow U.S. Companies to Work with Huawei on 5G Technology About Huawei Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. With integrated solutions across four key domains – telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services – we are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

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Woolpert, Centric Consulting Helping Local Governments Access and Maximize CARES Act Funding

Woolpert | June 20, 2020

Woolpert and Centric Consulting are working together to help local governments access, maximize and expedite funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The longtime partners will provide CARES Act Advisory and Implementation Services to enable municipalities to track, process, utilize and benefit from resources related to COVID-19. In March, the CARES Act established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund to financially assist state, local and tribal governments as they work to preserve jobs and protect people from the public health impacts of COVID-19. The much-needed funding is being allocated within strict timing and eligibility guidelines, and governments have been given a short window in which to determine, assign and execute eligible projects. Funds must be obligated by Dec. 31, 2020.

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Spotlight

Since publication this infographic has been amended. The original version stated the NDIS was scaled back. There are no planned cuts to the funding of the NDIS.