IPC Global Advocacy Report
November 2015

Dear IPC Members and Friends:

John Hasselmann

IPC places a high priority on government relations because so many public policy debates have large impacts on our industry, and our members value our advocacy on their behalf on issues such as taxes, regulations, R&D, and the environment. 

In this report, we share some brief highlights of what the IPC Government Relations team is working on. We hope this information is useful to you, and we would welcome your questions and suggestions.

Sincerely,
John Hasselmann
VP of Government Relations

In This Issue:

IPC Closely Watching Election 2016
Mark Your Calendars for IMPACT 2016
New IPC-Backed Institutes to Promote Manufacturing Innovation
Senate on Verge of Passing Toxic Substances Bill
IPC Members Participate in Manufacturing Day 2015
IPC Helps Members Grapple with EU Policy Issues
Help IPC Stop Costly EU Conflict Minerals Directive
China Also Eyeing Conflict Mineral Regulations

USA

IPC Closely Watching Election 2016

IPC PAC

We are now less than one year out from Election Day 2016, and IPC is keeping an eye on all the key campaigns.

The national media has focused primarily on the presidential race. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the undisputed frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, but it remains unclear who she will face in the general election. Donald Trump and Ben Carson are leading the polls today, but if history is any guide, one of the establishment candidates such as Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, or John Kasich may emerge to take the nod.

In the Senate, Democrats seek to regain a majority in what arguably will be a favorable election cycle. In 2016, Republicans will defend 24 seats, while Democrats will defend just 10. Of those 24 Republican seats, President Obama carried seven of the states in 2012. Democrats need just five seats to regain the majority, or four seats if they retain the White House and the Vice President is available to break tie votes.

In the House, with 247 seats, the Republicans currently enjoy their largest majority since 1928. Democrats are expected to pick up 5-10 seats, or perhaps more with favorable political winds and a strong presidential candidate. To take back the majority, Democrats would need to net 30 new seats, a high hurdle given the “red/blue” divisions in our country and the partisan-based boundaries of many current congressional districts.

IPC will be following the congressional races closely and looking strategically to support candidates that support the growth of our industry and the economy generally. To make your voice heard, please contact Ken Schramko to learn more about IPC’s political action committee (PAC) and related election activities.  

Mark Your Calendars for IMPACT 2016

during IMPACT 2015

IPC and electronics industry leaders presented a unified voice on Capitol Hill at IMPACT 2015.

Each year, IPC brings member executives to Washington, D.C. for IMPACT: IPC on Capitol Hill. This event puts industry leaders into direct contact with the U.S. policymakers who are involved in issues that are critical to the future of the electronics industry. These meetings provide industry leaders an opportunity to educate lawmakers on important policy issues, sharing personal insights and real-life examples.

We are finalizing dates in April and will announce them as soon as possible so that you can plan accordingly.  This is a great opportunity to get involved, meet other industry leaders, and help us present a unified voice for the manufacturing industry.

New IPC-Backed Institutes to Promote Manufacturing Innovation

IPC PAC

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter recently announced an award of $75 million in federal funding to establish the next institute in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), which will be known as NextFlex — America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Institute. The consortium behind this institute, called FlexTech Alliance, consists of more than 160 companies, associations, universities and other organizations, including IPC. The cost match of non-federal funding is expected to be $108 million, and the institute hub will be based in San Jose, Calif.

NextFlex will focus on catalyzing the U.S. flexible hybrid electronics ecosystem and accelerating the commercialization of relevant technology through investments in materials scale-up, thinned device processing, device/sensor integrated printing and packaging, system design tools, and reliability testing and modeling.

IPC looks forward to serving as a partner in this initiative and encourages our member companies to learn more and get involved. IPC and the FlexTech Alliance are currently planning a webinar to share more details with IPC members. Please stay tuned for details.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, IPC joined the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) and became an active member. The DMDII is one of the first five NNMI institutes launched, and projects at the institute are already underway.

Senate on Verge of Passing Toxic Substances Bill

As this report was being prepared for you, the U.S. Senate was on the verge of passing the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697), which would update the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. In June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576). 

The U.S. chemical regulatory program is important to our members who use chemicals to manufacture electronics for the nation’s defense, aerospace, automotive, consumer and other industries. With our members’ input, IPC has advocated for sensible, balanced provisions including limiting EPA regulation of chemicals in articles, pre-empting separate state chemicals regulations, and removing the disincentives to recycling in the current implementation of TSCA. 

Although the disincentives to recycling byproducts under TSCA are not addressed in either bill, and the preemption and articles language is not as strong as we would like, the House committee’s report includes guidance to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address the byproducts issue. IPC’s consistent advocacy throughout this process (e.g. IMPACT 2015, committee testimony, coalition efforts, and IPC engagement with senior congressional policymakers) was critical in gaining this guidance to the EPA. 

After Senate passage of S. 697, the next step is expected to be a House-Senate “conference committee” to iron out differences and send a final version to the President for his signature. IPC will continue to monitor developments closely and advocate for our members’ interests as the bills go to conference. 

IPC Members Participate in Manufacturing Day 2015

Manufacturing Day

On October 2, 2015, manufacturers across North America opened their doors to the public for Manufacturing Day 2015 (MFG DAY). The goal was to address common misconceptions about manufacturing and share what the future of manufacturing looks like. By working together before, during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers can address the skilled labor shortage we face, connect with future generations, take charge of our industry’s public image, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

IPC Member Bay Area Circuits provided a tour and presentation at their manufacturing facility in Fremont, Calif. On the other side of the country, Baltimore-based Zentech Manufacturing participated in a large event called “Maryland Manufacturing Day at the Yard,” hosted by the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland and the Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Also, Zentech President Matt Turpin published an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun, emphasizing the need to close the skills gap to ensure the future of U.S. manufacturing.

These are just some of the ways that manufacturers are taking part in a nationwide effort to educate people about the significant role that manufacturing plays in the economy and beyond. IPC supports this mission through our Government Relations efforts, as well as by encouraging members to get involved in MFG DAY. Any day of the year can be a Manufacturing Day — and together, we can inspire the next generation of manufacturers!

European Union

IPC Helps Members Grapple with EU Policy Issues

On October 13, IPC convened a one-day conference in Essen, Germany on European Union (EU) policy issues. The event provided attendees with an in-depth look at pending EU regulations on conflict minerals, along with updates on critical regulatory programs affecting electronics, including REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) and RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances). 

Speakers included representatives of several German government agencies; Shivani Kannabhiran, an expert from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); Jean De Ruyt, a former Belgian Ambassador to the EU; Sonia Kalauzova of Philips Group Procurement; and Sebastian Goeke of IPC member company Applied Materials.

Read more for complete article.  

Help IPC Stop Costly EU Conflict Minerals Directive

In the European Union, IPC is working to influence proposed regulations requiring the mandatory certification and reporting of conflict minerals throughout the supply chain. Under the regulation, EU importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold would be required to conduct detailed analyses about the possible presence of conflict minerals in their supply chains, and many of those details would be made public. 

IPC and its members deplore the violence and human right abuses that are occurring in some mineral-rich regions, but we have been active in communicating that the EU regulation would be ineffective and harmful to economic growth.  

With the debate on this regulation expected to continue into 2016, IPC will continue to work with its members in Europe to help make their voices heard. Please contact Fern Abrams, if you would like more information and ways you can help.

China

China Also Eyeing Conflict Mineral Regulations

The China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Importers & Exporters (CCCMC), in close cooperation with the multinational Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), recently posted a draft of the Chinese Due Diligence Guidelines for Responsible Mineral Supply Chains.

The objective of the voluntary guidelines — which are based on OECD guidelines — is to align Chinese company due diligence with international standards and allow for mutual recognition with existing international initiatives and laws. The guidelines will apply to all companies owned, partially owned, registered in, or operating in China, which are engaged at any point in the supply chain of minerals and related products. The guidelines go into detail on five steps to better risk management in this area; a program for certification of company due-diligence efforts; and a model supply chain policy.

On behalf of its members, IPC has filed comments urging China to carefully review the intended scope, given the difficulties companies are having with the more limited conflict minerals provision in the U.S. Dodd-Frank law. IPC urged the CCCMC to focus their initial actions on tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, for which many companies are already developing mechanisms for responsible supply chains. IPC also suggests that the guidelines be more closely aligned with the OECD guidelines and remain voluntary.

As these guidelines are refined in the months ahead, IPC will continue to advocate for our members’ interests and keep you informed.