The INSIDER daily digest -- March 9, 2018

By Thomas Duffy / March 9, 2018 at 2:20 PM

This Friday's INSIDER includes the latest news on the potential national security impacts of President Trump's new metal tariffs, details on the Pentagon's plans to acquire a single cloud information system, and news from senior Air Force officials on the F-35 buy-rates and data rights.

U.S. allies are leery of discussing the new tariff policy:

Foreign defense industrial base officials cautious on Trump's new metal tariff

Defense industrial base officials from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada met in Washington today to discuss transnational security cooperation, but were leery of weighing in on potential disruptions caused by President Trump's new tariffs on steel and aluminum.

But U.S. allies can apply for exemptions:

Trump's new steel tariffs to provide carve-outs for U.S. allies

President Trump, citing national security concerns, is ordering new tariffs on steel and aluminum today with temporary exemptions for Canada and Mexico and potential exemptions for other U.S. allies on a case-by-case basis.

Meanwhile, the Defense Department has crafted a controversial cloud strategy:

Pentagon plans multibillion-dollar bet on single cloud

Architects of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure program envision a future where data moves freely between Defense Department users in a single cloud environment, enabling innovations like machine learning and artificial intelligence, but questions persist about the efficacy of their plan and the fate of other DOD cloud programs.

The Air Force secretary is taking a wait-and-see approach on plans to increase purchases of the F-35:

Donovan: Air Force riding out F-35 uncertainty before upping its buy-rate

The under secretary of the Air Force said this week the service's decision to procure the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on a measured ramp is as much about the current uncertainty around the program's operational testing time line and future modernization strategy as it is about cost.

And the chief of the F-35 program is almost ready to talk data rights with Lockheed Martin:

Winter: Pentagon mulls data rights needed to continue F-35 development

The F-35 joint program office is determining what data rights it needs from Lockheed Martin and lower level suppliers to continue Joint Strike Fighter modernization and production sustainment, according to the program's senior official.

Finally, DOD wants to find billions in efficiencies:

Pentagon's new business reform chief eyes $46B in efficiencies over five years

The Pentagon's new chief management officer told the Senate Budget Committee this week he is confident the Defense Department will be able to find $46 billion in wasteful spending over the next five fiscal years that can be redirected to higher priorities.