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More than 100 top executives representing companies in the U.S. electronics manufacturing industry are urging the U.S. Congress to address critical shortcomings in the printed circuit board (PCB) industry and the entire U.S. electronics supply chain.
The letter, organized by IPC, a global electronics manufacturing association, urged all members of the U.S. House to support H.R. 7677, the Supporting American Printed Circuit Boards Act of 2022, which would incentivize purchases of domestically produced PCBs as well as industry investments in factories, equipment, workforce training, and research and development (R&D).
The letter stressed that the legislation, introduced by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Blake Moore (R-UT), is critical to rebuilding a severely depleted but still-critical U.S. manufacturing sector; would ease an already strained U.S. supply chain; and would strengthen U.S. national security. PCBs are a critical component of the electronics ecosystem and are as integral to electronics as semiconductors. In fact, electronic systems cannot function without PCBs, and yet the United States is overwhelmingly reliant on non-domestic sources of them and is falling behind in cutting-edge PCB technologies.
“Despite the importance of PCBs to electronics systems, they have been an afterthought to policymakers for decades,” said IPC President and CEO John Mitchell. “This bipartisan legislation, if passed, will stimulate critical investments in PCB research and manufacturing in the United States. We’re glad to see so many industry leaders agree and join us in urging congressional support for this bill.”
A recent IPC report found that the United States has lost its historic dominance in PCB fabrication. Since 2000, U.S. share of global PCB production has fallen from over 30% to just 4%; China now dominates the sector at around 50%. The report also emphasized that any loss of access to non-domestic sources of PCBs would be “catastrophic” to the United States’ ability to produce electronics for weapons systems, communications equipment, medical devices, energy systems, and more.