Which Government Policies Worry You Most?
Which government policies worry you the most?
- Environmental regulations?
- Trade and tariff disputes?
- Supply chain concerns?
- A lack of skilled workers?
- Something else?
If you’re like most IPC member company executives, you’re concerned about politics and policy and how these issues affect your company.
That’s why IPC places a high priority on government relations (GR): because so many public policy debates have significant impacts on our members. IPC is guided by your perspectives on these issues, and we advocate for a policy environment in which you can prosper.
Here is a brief overview of the strategies and tactics IPC uses to impact government policy, the key issues we’re working on today, and how you can be involved in advocating for our industry.
Strategies and Tactics
IPC’s GR work is rooted in an ongoing dialogue with members like you. For example, IPC’s North American and European GR Committees are composed of a cross-section of company executives who provide IPC with their input throughout the year. Likewise, IPC’s environmental policy priorities are determined with input from our Environment & Health Strategic Management Team (ENV SMT). We also invite all members to fill out our five-question, five-minute policy survey, or just call or write us with your concerns.
With member input in hand, IPC’s GR staff reaches out and communicates directly with key policy makers, presenting the best case for our positions. To the extent we can provide strong, relevant industry data and present the impact to the industry, we increase the likelihood that the final policies enacted will be supportive of the industry.
IPC also facilitates direct communications between you and your government officials, whether it is through in-person or virtual meetings. IPC also coordinates in-person or virtual visits by government officials to IPC member facilities – so that when IPC’s interests are at stake in policy debates, we already have local relationships for support.
Specifically in the United States, another way how IPC engages politically is through the IPC Political Action Committee (IPC PAC). Under U.S. law, PACs are transparent, regulated entities in which citizens with common interests come together to support political candidates with financial contributions to their campaigns. The IPC PAC supports pro-manufacturing candidates from both parties in Congress.
On the regulatory front, IPC continuously monitors the rules being developed at agencies like EPA and OSHA in the United States and DG ENV in the European Union. We provide timely information to both government officials, to help inform their decisions, and to IPC members, so that you can make informed business decisions.
Finally, we build public support for our positions. For example, IPC cultivates helpful, accurate news coverage by the media, and we engage on social media – all with the goal of building broader public support for our policy agenda.
IPC’s Policy Agenda
In the United States, the policy agenda is currently being driven by the new president, Joe Biden, and IPC’s policy agenda is contained in a letter we sent to President Biden in March. The letter outlines policy recommendations in five key areas, including:
- Strengthening the defense electronics industrial base;
- Developing and implementing a strategy to promote the factories of the future;
- Expanding and upskilling the workforce;
- Rebuilding trade relationships; and
- Protecting human health and the environment via practical policies and regulations.
In May, IPC sent a follow-up letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, signed by 57 industry executives, focusing on the need to bolster the entire electronics manufacturing ecosystem, not just a few parts of it.
Across the Atlantic, the European “Green Deal” and the European Commission’s Industrial Strategy are providing the major frameworks for EU policy today, with an emphasis on “open strategic autonomy” and a greener, more digital future. An IPC report published in April outlines our policy recommendations there, including:
- Recognizing electronics manufacturing as a strategically important industry and investing in neglected parts of the value chain;
- Supporting European manufacturers in their transition to the factories of the future;
- Enhancing vocational training and lifelong training;
- Focusing on Europe's leadership in embedded electronics – which account for 85 percent of its electronics output – to help achieve successful green and digital transitions; and
- In defining the European concept of "open strategic autonomy," striking a careful balance between support for regionalized production and a flexible global supply chain.
In the Asia-Pacific region, IPC plans to establish a GR program soon, although we do currently monitor and track environmental regulatory developments to keep our members informed.
How do IPC members benefit from these activities? Here are just a few examples:
- Defense Electronics: Due to advocacy by IPC and others, the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) included provisions that will require the Defense Department (DoD) to implement new sourcing requirements and restrictions on bare printed circuit boards (PCBs) and PCB assemblies (PCBAs).
- Lead-Free Electronics: Also due to IPC advocacy, Congress passed and the President signed FY20 and FY21 funding legislation that totaled $15 million for research into the issues surrounding lead-free electronics in aerospace, defense, and high performance (ADHP) applications.
- Chemical Data Reporting: IPC helped convince the U.S. EPA to clarify and streamline chemical data reporting rules ahead of the 2020 cycle.
- EU Advocacy: IPC convened IMPACT Europe 2020, bringing a record number of IPC members together with European Union policy makers to discuss new policies affecting international trade, industrial strategy, environmental policy, and corporate conduct.
In short, IPC advocacy helps make the electronics industry stronger and more profitable.
Here’s Where You Come In
The IPC government relations team is here for you year-round, but the success of our work depends on the active engagement of IPC members. We invite you to join our efforts in one of the following ways:
- Stay informed on the issues. Subscribe to IPC’s Global Advocacy Report. If you’re an IPC member, manage your e-mail preferences and opt in to receive “Advocacy” updates. If you are not an IPC member – or you’re not sure – send a note to email@example.com, and our staff will add you to the list. You can also follow IPC on LinkedIn and Twitter for updates.
- Join our grassroots advocacy team. Visit our online advocacy center; enter or update your contact details; and be prepared to participate in several grassroots campaigns coming up soon to influence Congress on our key issues. It will only take a minute or two to update your details, but it will dramatically improve our ability to gain support in Congress.
- Be in contact with your elected representatives. Send emails, make phone calls, or meet with them at their local district office or a public event. IPC’s government relations team can help arrange meetings and provide you with talking points and handouts. Or, invite an elected official to one of your facilities. You can offer an in-person or virtual briefing and tour, as well as a chance for them to speak to your employees.
- Learn more about the IPC Political Action Committee (IPC PAC). Contact Ken Schramko or visit IPC.org/PAC.
IPC works hard to educate policy makers and advocate for our industry, and the more our members our involved, the greater the impact we will have and the more successful we will be. Will you join us?