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IPC Global Advocacy Report
December 2016

Dear IPC Members and Friends:

John Hasselmann

It has been a busy few months since our last update! Between the U.S. elections, the end of the current congressional session, and our IMPACT Europe event, we’ve had a lot going on. 

IPC places a high priority on government relations because so many public policy debates have large impacts on our industry. Our members continue to value our advocacy efforts on issues such as taxes, regulations, R&D, and the environment. In this report, I would like to share some highlights of some of the key activities over the past few months as we wrap up a successful 2016 and prepare for a busy 2017!  

We hope this information is useful to you, and we welcome your questions and suggestions.

Happy Holidays!
John Hasselmann
VP of Government Relations

In This Issue:

IPC Ready to Work with Trump, Congress

With the 2016 presidential election decided, IPC is reaching out to the new Administration to promote policies that encourage innovation, economic growth and advanced manufacturing in the United States and abroad. To that end, IPC has written to Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, the leader of the President-Elect Trump’s transition efforts as well as the nominees for the EPA and the Department of Commerce.  These are just a few of the critical areas of the federal government where policies that affect IPC members will be debated.

IPC is optimistic about the prospect of increased bipartisan support for policies such as comprehensive tax reform. It is vital that our industry remain vigilant and engaged on the issues that impact us most.

IPC Makes an IMPACT in Europe

In November, IPC hosted its first-ever “IMPACT” advocacy event in Brussels, bringing together industry executives and EU policymakers to discuss issues of mutual concern.

IMPACT Europe 2016 began with a breakfast roundtable discussion of the REACH regulation’s impact on the electronics industry. IPC President and CEO John Mitchell led the discussion with two key EU Commission officials:  Dr. Klaus Berend, Head of Unit for REACH at the DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW); and Karin Kilian, Policy Officer for Sustainable Chemicals at the DG Environment.

Later, a panel discussion on the EU Commission’s New Skills Agenda followed by a networking lunch provided the opportunity to discuss the growing skills gap in Europe. The panel included:

  • Martina Dlabajová, Member of Parliament (Czech Republic);
  • Arnaldo Abruzzini, CEO of EUROCHAMBRES;
  • Robin Huguenot-Noël, European Policy Centre
  • João Santos, Deputy Head of Unit at the DG Employment; and
  • Jacki Davis, moderator, a leading commentator and analyst on European Union affairs.

IPC will remain engaged with EU decision makers, national authorities and all stakeholders to help ensure that advanced manufacturing will thrive in Europe.

Comprehensive Tax Reform is Needed in 2017

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With a new political line-up in Washington, D.C., the prospect of sweeping tax reform is back at the center of the political debate. It has been 30 years since there has been a comprehensive overhaul to the federal tax code, and it is crucial that policymakers find a balance between ensuring fairness and simplicity, raising needed revenues, and spurring economic growth.

President-elect Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have all said they want to enact a sweeping tax reform package that cuts the overall tax burden for individuals and businesses.

IPC continues to advocate for a stronger R&D tax credit by supporting H.R. 5187, the Research and Experimentation Advances Competitiveness at Home (REACH) Act of 2016, introduced by Rep. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio), which would increase the alternative simplified credit (ASC) from 14 percent to 20 percent. Although the PATH Act made the R&D tax credit permanent, the ASC was kept at the 14 percent rate. Most IPC members utilize the ASC, which is an alternative method used to compute tax credits for R&D. 

IPC will lead efforts on tax reform specific to our industry as well as work in collaboration with other industry associations to advocate for the best possible balance among all the competing priorities.

Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Halting DOL Overtime Rule

A federal judge blocked implementation of the Department of Labor’s final overtime rule that would more than double the minimum salary threshold for salaried employees, postposing the December 1 effective date while the challenges are weighed.

IPC has advocated on behalf of our members who were concerned with the drastic changes the new overtime rule would have on their businesses. This year we brought company executives face-to-face with members of Congress to discuss the issue; encouraged calls and letters; sent letters on behalf of IPC; joined in coalition statements to Congress; and endorsed positive alternatives in Congress (S. 2707/H.R. 4773). Additionally, IPC collaborated with the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, a broad-based business coalition, in advocacy and education efforts.

Before the election, it was expected that President Obama would veto any congressional attempt to override the rule and it would go into effect on December 1. Now it remains to be seen what President-elect Trump, the new Congress, and/or the judge will do.

IPC will continue to advocate on behalf of our members and engage with key policymakers on ideas to ease the burden for smaller businesses.

IPC Joins STEM Education Coalition

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IPC is proud to be a new affiliate member of the STEM Education Coalition, which focuses on raising awareness in Congress and the Administration about the essential role STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education plays in educating students in the 21st century.

We look forward to working with the STEM Education Coalition to advocate for policies that will develop a more competitive U.S. workforce.

Coming Soon: IPC's 2017 Global Policy Framework

As the new Congress settles into Washington in January, IPC will kick off its 2017 advocacy efforts by releasing its updated Global Policy Framework, laying out a blueprint for a strong manufacturing economy and an advanced electronics industry. The framework is based on input from members like you, and identifies IPC’s top priority issues for the year.

Stay tuned for updates in January!

EU Reaches Final Agreement on Conflict Minerals Regulation

In Europe, negotiators from the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the European Commission reached a final agreement on the Conflict Minerals Regulation. For the past five months, the Council and the European Parliament have been working together to implement a June political agreement on conflict minerals regulation.  The regulation will ensure sustainable sourcing for more than 95% of all EU imports of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, which will be covered by due diligence provisions as of January 1, 2021.

In the coming months and years, the Commission and Member States will work to make sure that the necessary structures are in place to ensure EU-wide implementation. Accompanying measures to provide support for importers, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, are also planned. Additionally, there will be a range of development aid and foreign policy actions to ensure the effectiveness of the regulation, and its positive impact on the ground. The agreed upon regulation will now have to be formally adopted by the full European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

IPC will continue to heavily engage on this critical issue for our members.

To learn more, please take a few minutes to watch IPC’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, Fern Abrams, interview with Global SMT & Packaging magazine.

Register now for IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2017!

 

IPC’s Government Relations team has been hard at work in preparation for IMPACT Washington, D.C.2017, which will take place May 1-3 in the historic Willard Hotel.

During this two-and-a-half-day event, IPC-member executives will have direct contact with policymakers who are influential on the issues that affect our industry.

If you are interested in attending, but have never done this kind of thing before, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone! The IPC team will assist you every step of the way. Government officials want to hear directly from you on the policy decisions they face.

Register today! You don’t want to miss this great opportunity to get involved, meet other industry executives, and present a unified voice for the manufacturing industry.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Julie DeSisto at JulieDesisto@ipc.org if you have questions.

Join Us at IPC APEX EXPO 2017

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Finally, if you’re interested in IPC’s government relations activities and will be attending IPC APEX EXPO 2017, February 11-16 in San Diego, come and seek us out.

Among the many opportunities to network and learn, IPC will be hosting a Government Relations VIP Dinner; a GR Committee meeting; and a “GR 101” educational session; and Buzz sessions on key issues.

Register today, we hope to see you there!

 

 

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