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Electronic industry association leaders like IPC, PCBAA, and USPAE have been trekking to Capitol Hill almost weekly this year to reinforce the dire state of the industry and seek additional co-sponsors for HR 7677, a bill supporting the American printed circuit board industry. However, with only 78 days until the end of the 117th Congress, it is not likely that anything will move by the end of this session.
Introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives in May, HR 7677, “Supporting the American Printed Circuit Boards Act of 2022,” is a testament to the domestic PCB, PCBA, and critical material supplier industry’s ability to advocate for sound legislation to stop the erosion of a once robust domestic PCB industry.
The bill was originally sponsored by U.S. Reps. Ann Eshoo and Blake Moore. It was purposefully structured to be like the more famous CHIPS and Science Act. It has two primary components:
- Three billion dollars in incentives, grants, and loans for facilities, equipment, workforce development, and R&D.
- A 25% tax credit for U.S. companies to buy U.S. made PCBs.
At one point in the process for HR 7677, the tax credit was removed from the bill. This was more a procedural issue, according to Will Marsh, vice president at TTM Technologies, and president of PCBAA. This move potentially enabled the tax credit to attach to other legislation, rather than a dilution of the bill itself.
Industry and congressional sponsors remain confident there will be a reintroduction of all the bill's primary components within the first week of the newly sworn in 118th Congress in January 2023, Marsh explains.
“It is important to remember that we face a ‘microelectronics ecosystem’ issue,” he says. “And, as we like to say in the PCBAA, ‘chips don’t float.’”
To learn more about the genesis of the bill, read “Printed Circuit Boards: Past the Lobby and Onto the Floor,” an exclusive interview with U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-Utah), and Travis Kelly, CEO of Isola Group and chairman of PCBAA, which appeared in the July 2022 issue of PCB007 Magazine.