IPC Global Advocacy Report
July 2016

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. We advocate on your 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 welcome your questions and suggestions.

Sincerely,
John Hasselmann
VP of Government Relations

In This Issue:

Get Ready for Manufacturing Day 2016 – October 7

Manufacturing Day

Manufacturing Day
sm (MFG DAY) is an annual celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Although any day can be a Manufacturing Day at your facility, the official date this year is Friday, October 7.

Supported by a group of industry co-sponsors including IPC, MFG Day aims to address misperceptions about manufacturing by encouraging companies to open your doors to your communities. This is a perfect opportunity to host facility tours or presentations for students, elected officials, and/or other invited guests. You can help spread the word on social media, too.  

If you want to get involved but don’t know how, we would love to help. Please click on the link above to access ideas and resources, and and visit IPC’s MFG Day site to let us know if you plan to take action. Contact IPC Government Relations Coordinator Julie Desisto if you have any questions.

IPC PAC: Now is the Time to Consider Getting Involved

IPC PAC

Election Day 2016 is less than four months away! Now is the ideal time for IPC members who are interested in policy and politics to learn more about the IPC Political Action Committee (IPC PAC)

The IPC PAC supports pro-manufacturing candidates in both parties based on their positions on key policy issues. The candidates we support are chosen after discussions among the IPC Government Relations Committee and our full-time staff in Washington. During this election cycle, our goal is to grow the IPC PAC so that we can support more candidates who share our views on issues such as taxes, regulations, R&D, and education and training.

As an IPC PAC member, you will:

  • Receive periodic updates about the policy debates and politics affecting our industry;
  • Have a greater impact on the outcome of those policy debates; and
  • Experience the satisfaction of working alongside your peers to help elect supporters of a pro-manufacturing policy agenda!  

For more information and to get started, please click on the link above or contact Ken Schramko.

IPC Scores a Win with Passage of Toxic Substances Bill

Recycle

We are pleased to report that Congress has passed, and President Obama has signed, a constructive piece of legislation that IPC has been advocating on for years. 

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, also known as “TSCA reform” because it updates the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), addresses several of IPC’s top priorities. Specifically, IPC applauds the bill’s provisions that strengthen federal preemption of state chemicals regulations, because uniform, science-based regulations are the best way to protect the public while minimizing barriers to interstate commerce. Additionally, the bill includes language sought by IPC calling for a negotiated rulemaking to reduce TSCA burdens on byproducts sent for recycling. The EPA recently released an Implementation Plan to give companies a timeline of what to expect regarding the new legislation.

IPC prevailed by persistently educating members of Congress and staff about our concerns; knowing our facts and advancing sound public policy; and cultivating Congressional champions along the way. In short, this was an excellent example of how IPC’s government relations team works to produce great results for our members.   

Our own Fern Abrams is quoted extensively on the recycling issue in this excellent article by Bloomberg Government.

EU Moves in Positive Direction on Conflict Minerals Policy

On June 16, the European Union (EU) Commission, Council and Parliament agreed on a framework for conflict minerals legislation. Overall, the legislation will be less burdensome for IPC members and the electronics industry than previously proposed.

While the EU Commission had originally suggested a voluntary system, the EU Parliament had voted for mandatory requirements for the entire supply chain. Under the agreement reached this week, due diligence requirements will apply only to the upstream portions of the whole supply chain.

A vote in the European Parliament could take place before the end of the year and would have to be followed by a formal adoption in the Council for the text to become law.

Over past four years, IPC has met with EU Commission staff, European Parliament Rapporteur Iuliu Winkler’s staff, and several other MEP offices. In the meetings, IPC emphasized the burdens and unintended problems the U.S. Dodd-Frank law has caused, both for manufacturers and the miners in Africa it was intended to help. IPC encouraged the EU to adopt voluntary measures in alignment with the existing Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and other industry programs in order to minimize the burden of compliance.

IPC will continue to actively advocate for our members and industry on this important issue and will continue to keep you informed of any new developments regarding conflict minerals.

Obama Administration Issues New Overtime Rules

On May 18, President Obama and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez announced the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final rule updating overtime regulations, which will take effect on December 1, 2016. This ruling will modify overtime pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act, with a 100 percent increase to the minimum salary threshold – from $455 per week to $913 per week – resulting in increased labor costs and limited workplace flexibility for businesses around the country.

This ruling is also set to update the threshold automatically every three years. Each update will raise the standard threshold to the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage census region, estimated to be $51,168 in 2020.

IPC, along with other members of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, is disappointed by this action and concerned about the potential impacts on IPC members. The DOL has largely ignored the concerns raised by thousands of businesses, organizations and individuals across the country.

IPC supports the Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act (S.2707/H.R. 4773), which would block the new overtime rule from taking effect and require DOL to take a deeper look into the potential implications on small businesses and the wider economy, as well as employee flexibility and career advancement.

IPC Advocates for Members in Brussels

In June, IPC Vice President of Government Relations John Hasselmann spent a week in IPC’s new European Union office in Brussels, Belgium. He had the chance to met with IPC’s Brussels staff, along with numerous key policy makers and leaders of allied organizations such as Orgalime, BusinessEurope, DigitalEurope, and the European Flame Retardants Association, to discuss the issues that are important to our members.

Key policy discussions included:

  • REACH and RoHS legislations;
  • The EU Skills agenda;
  • Conflict minerals; and
  • The Swedish tax proposal.

IPC was pleased to open its Brussels office in March to offer members support, standards development activities and educational opportunities.  IPC is dedicated to building its presence in Europe, and advocacy plays a critical role in this effort.

IPC Member Companies Host Congressional Site Visits

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici meets with TTM Technologies Inc. staff in Oregon.

This year several IPC member-companies have hosted Congressional site visits to connect with local elected officials. These visits are part of IPC’s “Meet the Policymakers” program, which allows policymakers to learn first-hand about legislative and regulatory issues that impact our industry.

  • Congresswoman Barbara Comstock visited TTM Technologies’ facility in Sterling, Virginia;
  • Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici visited TTM Technologies’ facility in Forest Grove, Oregon;
  • Congressman Mike Honda visited Bay Area Circuts in Fremont, California; and
  • Congressman Ron Kind visited TTM Technologies’ manufacturing facility in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

Congresswoman Barbara Comstock visits TTM Technologies manufacturing facility in Virginia.

Site visits are one of the most effective ways to educate and influence members of Congress on the issues affecting our industry. Many officials have proven to be receptive to the opportunity to meet with IPC member companies and hear your opinions about the policy issues affecting your business. This is also a chance to build lasting relationships with your local elected officials and become an effective industry advocate.

If you are interested in participating in our “Meet the Policymakers” program by inviting a member of Congress to your facility, please contact Julie Desisto.