IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2019 Recap: Leaders Call for Action on USMCA Trade Deal


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Top executives from electronics companies across the United States were in Washington, D.C., last week to call on the Trump administration and Congress to support policies that will drive the electronics industry’s future growth in North America and worldwide.

IPC’s government relations team works year-round to advance the industry’s interests in North America, Europe, and Asia. But policymakers are very interested in hearing directly from their constituents—the “real people” who are affected by their policy debates.

That is why IPC convenes events like IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2019 and IMPACT Europe, where industry leaders to come together and make our united voice heard in the halls of government.

One of the highlights of this year’s IMPACT Washington program was a new reportcommissioned by IPC and written by noted economist Shawn DuBravacwhich concluded that the USMCA would be a positive step for the electronics sector and should be approved by the U.S. Congress this year.

Attendees had a chance to hear directly from the USMCA study author and share their own thoughts on U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade with senior congressional staff who handle trade matters, as well as Daniel Watson, the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for North America and one of the chief negotiators for the USMCA.

As a follow-up, the House Ways and Means Committee has asked that we recommend individuals from the business community who may want to participate in hearings on USMCA. If such an opportunity interests you, please contact me.

That’s just one example of how IPC works with our members to bring our advocacy efforts to life and have a real impact; and there are many more.

During the D.C. event, attendees also met with other leading policymakers to discuss the electronics supply chain, EPA regulations, and workforce education. As a group, the executives met with:

  • Eric Ueland, Deputy Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Scott Stump, Assistant Secretary for Technical, Career and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education, both of whom are interested in IPC’s growing workforce education programs;
  • Mike Molnar, Director of the Office of Advanced Manufacturing (OAM) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), who briefed us on the Trump administration’s Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing and our industry’s role in it;
  • Henry Darwin, Acting Deputy Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who is working to reduce regulatory burdens and implement leaner, more efficient operations at the EPA;
  • Majority and Minority staff of both the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee, who will oversee congressional consideration of the USMCA;
  • Former Indiana senator Joe Donnelly, who has worked with IPC and DOD on defense supply chain issues; and
  • Former Virginia congressman Tom Davis, a consummate Washington insider.

On Capitol Hill, members met with their own elected officials including Reps. Jack Bergman (R-MI) and Lance Gooden (R-TX), as well as influential staff members in the offices of Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Gary Peters (D-MI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Pat Toomey (D-PA), and Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA); John Larson (D-CT), and Eric Swalwell (D-CA).

Member executives also had the opportunity to hear from Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, who praised electronics companies for helping to ensure the safety and success of U.S. military service members; and from former Virginia congressman Tom Davis, a consummate Washington insider, who delved into the forces shaping the politics of 2019 and 2020.

Participating member companies included Calumet Electronics of Calumet, Mich.; Chemcut of State College, Penn.; Eagle Circuits of Dallas, Tex.; Juki Automation Systems of Fremont, Calif.; Heller Industries of Florham, N.J.; Lockheed Martin of Orlando, Fla.; Summit Interconnect of Anaheim, Calif.; STI Electronics of Madison, Ala.; TTM Technologies of Sterling, Va.; Uyemura International of Ontario, Calif.; VirTex Enterprises of Austin, Tex.; and Zentech Manufacturing of Windsor Mill, Md.

To all who participated, thank you! Your active engagement has made a huge difference in advancing our industry’s future success. We’ll be in touch with follow-up activities.

To those of you who missed this opportunity but want to be in the loop on IPC’s government relations efforts going forward, please check out these options and let us know your interests. We have a robust, year-round agenda of advocacy activities, and your participation in those efforts would be welcomed and valuable.

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