IPC Advocacy Team Notched Significant Gains in 2020

The IPC Global Government Relations team expanded its advocacy efforts in 2020, helping further the competitive excellence and financial success of IPC members.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to adopt new advocacy priorities to help the industry respond to the crisis. But interestingly, the pandemic did not push any of our top policy issues to the backburner. In fact, the pandemic highlighted the importance of one of our key issues, supply chain resiliency, and created an environment ripe for greater executive branch and congressional support. 

Perhaps most importantly, IPC and our members have helped drive an increasing appreciation for the entire ecosystem that supports electronics manufacturing. 

Within this context, here are IPC’s government relations highlights of 2020:    

  • Secured a provision in the U.S. FY21 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requiring bare and assembled printed circuit boards used in defense systems to be acquired from trusted sources.
  • Secured $10 million in fiscal year 2021 for continuing research and development into the issues related to lead-free electronics in defense, aerospace, and high-performance applications – up from $5 million in FY20. 
  • Persuaded the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to stand up a Defense Electronics Consortium (DEC) to help oversee the lead-free electronics R&D project and provide a platform for additional partnerships to address shared DoD-industry challenges. 
  • Launched the U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics (USPAE), a new non-profit, member-led organization, to facilitate U.S. industry engagement with federal agencies, including the DoD. 
  • Championed COVID-19 recovery packages. IPC supported reasonable liability protections for businesses, a modified unemployment insurance bonus, the Paycheck Protection Program and related tax credits, and state and local government aid for essential functions. In response to the pandemic, IPC also hosted weekly and then monthly calls with industry executives to facilitate cross-industry collaboration.
  • Worked with industry peers to win passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, which will foster continuing growth of the North American supply chain. IPC also proposed and advocated for a North American manufacturing initiative to focus on coordinating pandemic response and strengthening the region’s manufacturing competitiveness.
  • Capped a years-long battle to clarify and streamline the EPA’s Chemical Data Reporting rule ahead of the 2020 cycle. EPA made changes to the rules to address industry concerns that previous CDR rules discouraged recycling of byproducts and were duplicative with other regulatory reporting regimes.  
  • Advocated for the industry in the initial implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) “Fees Rule” and worked to shape TSCA risk evaluations for 30 high-priority chemical substances.
  • Completed an industry study to inform our advocacy on emerging policies related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). IPC studied how PFAS are used in electronics equipment and manufacturing, and how new policies might affect our industry.
  • Continued our public-facing advocacy and outreach by: a) publishing a landmark report on the electronics industry’s contributions to the U.S. economy; b) producing a one-minute video about the industry’s importance in daily life; and c) placing interviews and op-eds in news outlets like Politico, The Hill, and Defense News.
  • Formalized and expanded IPC’s European Government Relations Committee, giving our members in Europe a robust, regional platform to direct IPC’s advocacy on their behalf.
  • Convened IMPACT Europe 2020, bringing together a record number of senior executives from across the industry as well as high-level EU policy makers to discuss policies affecting international trade, industrial strategy, environmental policy, and corporate conduct. 
  • Produced a wide-ranging IPC response to the European Commission’s review of trade policy in light of COVID. IPC’s response highlighted the strategic role of our industry and advocated for strategic trading partnerships coupled with a robust industrial strategy supporting our sector in Europe. The written response and related meetings came at a key moment when the EU is formulating its future policies based on a concept of “open strategic autonomy.”
  • Produced white papers on the chemical and product regulatory systems in nine Asia-Pacific countries: China, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

IPC GR works constantly to grow the industry globally by educating policy makers and building support for policies that will strengthen the industry. We are your eyes, ears, and voice in the halls of government. But we rely on you to tell us what your concerns are so we can be your champions. Learn more and get involved by visiting www.IPC.org/advocacy.