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COVID-19 Update | Wednesday, April 1

April 2, 2020


  • The Trump Administration remains likely to delay tariff payments for some goods for up to 90 days, despite publicly stating this was not under consideration.
  • July 1st has become the earliest that the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement could go into effect, as the signatory nations failed to meet a deadline on Tuesday to replace NAFTA.
  • Intended to help state and local governments determine the essential workforce, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce advisory list.
    • Those deemed essential include maintenance and repair for critical infrastructure, call center operations, construction, and supply chain support.
    • Industries represented include medical and healthcare, telecommunications, IT, defense, food and agriculture, transportation, energy, water, law enforcement, and public works.
  • The Small Business Administration announced that the $349 billion emergency small business capital has been mobilized.
    • The Payroll Protection Program is expected to begin on April 3rd (Friday) for small businesses and sole proprietorships and then expand to independent contractors and self-employed individuals on April 10. As a reminder the relief will apply retroactively to February 15, allowing businesses to rehire laid off employees until June 30, 2020.
    • Small businesses in all 50 states with 500 or fewer employees (or designated otherwise by SBA) are eligible for up to $10 million in the form of loans. Under this program, loans are eligible for forgiveness if funds are used for payroll and other business operating expenses.
  • Relevant Federal Register notices are below.
    • Enforcement Policy for Expired Airman Medical Certificates (FAA)
      • This is the notice that states: due to COVID-19, until June 30, the FAA will not take any legal enforcement action against any person serving as a required pilot flight crewmember or flight engineer based on noncompliance with medical certificate duration standards when expiration of the required medical certificate occurs from March 31, 2020, through June 30, 2020.
    • Emergency Use Authorization Declaration (HHS)
      • States that the HHS Secretary has declared that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of drugs and biological products during the COVID-19 pandemic, pursuant to section 564 of the FD&C Act, subject to the terms of any authorization issued under that section.
  • The following COVID-19 related Executive Orders were issued in the Federal Register this morning:
  • Reports indicate that the National Stockpile is deploying its last round of protective gear.
  • President Trump indicated during this evening’s briefing that his Administration is considering temporarily stopping flights from high-density areas with high levels of cases, but declined to admit that he is considering shutting down all domestic flights.


  • As shared earlier today, Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other House leadership proposed their plan for infrastructure improvements relative to the COVID-19 pandemic. The proposal further builds on the infrastructure framework released earlier in the year.
    • The proposal included water resource infrastructure improvements, broadband infrastructure deployment (in light of the new, heavy reliance on internet and connectivity), and traditional highway and transit safety improvements to stimulate our economy.
    • The proposal also includes $30 billion in additional funds for airport investments, to support improvement projects, address noise issues, and enable sustainable aviation fuels.
    • Congressional Democratic Leadership, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso, and House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal all indicated their support for including infrastructure in the next relief package.
  • While a rescheduled markup date for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has yet to be determined, reports today indicated a plan to hold informal forums for discussion and debate around the bill for subcommittees and the full committee via video or phone conferencing.
  • As noted yesterday, the Department of Transportation issued guidance on maintaining minimum air services on a nationwide basis, with some exceptions, under the CARES Act. More information on that guidance is attached.
  • A markup of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Water Resources Development Act is expected shortly before Memorial Day, with the bill potentially on the Floor in early July.

Other News

  • Carnival Cruise Lines is working to raise at least $6 billion to survive the COVID-19 pandemic in light of being excluded from being eligible for government relief in the CARES Act. The company said Tuesday it plans to issue $1.25 billion in stock, $3 billion in secured notes and $1.75 billion in convertible notes all due 2023.
  • The Administration continues to push for stranded cruise ships to dock in Florida. The US Coast Guard has not yet permitted the MS Zaandam, a ship with at least two confirmed cases of COVID-19 onboard, and the MS Rotterdam, the ship sent to rescue its healthy passengers, to enter US waters.
  • After significant pressure, Governor Ron DeSantis issued a state-wide stay at home order in Florida today that goes into effect midnight Thursday and will last at least 30 days.
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