American Made Advocacy: PCBAA's New Representation

David_Schild.jpgAfter several years of work, the CHIPS Act has been signed and funds are beginning to be disbursed. What does this mean for the microelectronics industry?

David Schild: The CHIPS Act is a great start toward making our supply chains more secure and resilient, but simply building more semiconductors in the United States isn’t the end of the story. Printed circuit boards and IC substrates need the same level of attention that chips are getting. Over the last 25 years, we’ve fallen from 30% of the world’s supply of PCBs made here in the United States to just 4% today. Reshoring every layer of the technology stack should be the next priority for policymakers.

We’re starting to hear senior officials such as Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo refer to a microelectronics “ecosystem.” Why is that term so important?

Because chips don’t float. Dozens and sometimes hundreds of electronic components are needed to make modern technologies function. Also, it’s not enough to make the next generation of semiconductors here in America if we don’t address the rest of the stack. It goes beyond just having factories in the United States. It’s imperative that America invent the PCBs and substrates of the future, and very often R&D is co-located with production. An ecosystem approach is the only way to achieve the economic and national security goals we all share.

You’ve recently joined PCBAA as its executive director. How does that organization fit into this discussion?

PCBAA is focused on a three-pronged mission to educate, advocate, and legislate for our industry. We represent the manufacturers, assemblers, and critical suppliers in this space, and we’re signing up new members every month. If you’re concerned about our industry’s challenges and want to level the playing field, we need you on our growing team.

What’s next for industry efforts to secure the supply chain?

The 118th Congress has an opportunity to “finish the job” when it comes to investments in American microelectronics manufacturing. Building on the success of CHIPs, our industry is advocating for legislation that would fund industry growth directly and incentivize the purchase of American PCBs via significant tax credits.

This column originally appears in the April 2023 issue of PCB007 Magazine.



American Made Advocacy: PCBAA's New Representation


David Schild recently became executive director of PCBAA and shares some of this thoughts here about the association and its role in moving legislation forward that will benefit the printed circuit board industry. David acknowledges that the CHIPS Act is a great start toward making our supply chains more resilient, but more work is to be done.

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American Made Advocacy: Finishing the Job the CHIPS Act Started


I was pleased to see that President Biden mentioned the CHIPS Act during the State of the Union Address this year. That bill succeeded because lawmakers saw semiconductor manufacturing as a pressing national level issue. The CHIPS Act is a great first step in restoring one aspect of high-tech American manufacturing. What is missing from the dialogue in Washington is the rest of the microelectronics ecosystem.

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American Made Advocacy: A Collective Stake in American Microelectronics


Recently, hundreds of thousands gathered in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, where amazing new tech was rolled out—everything from razor-thin TVs to smart robots that clean your home. As an executive in the materials science space, I was struck not just by the pace of innovation, but also by the incredibly complex supply chains that were necessary to bring those products from the drawing board to reality.

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American Made Advocacy: The Three Essential Ingredients of Reshoring


Woven into almost every economic story these days is “reshoring,” a word most Americans had never heard just 18 months ago. For decades, market pressures and foreign subsidies drove manufacturing of everything from socks to semiconductors overseas. Policymakers and economists called this “offshoring.” This shift was the natural consequence of an increasingly interconnected world, new trade agreements, and a period of unprecedented global peace and security. Consumers reaped the benefits of offshoring in the form of inexpensive goods. But, as the COVID-19 pandemic made clear, we paid a price for sending the production of critical technologies overseas.

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American Made Advocacy: Congress Must Redefine What’s Critical


Regardless of what emerges from the 2022 mid-term elections, we know that on Jan. 3, 2023, the 118th Congress will be seated and begin their work. The ongoing effort to build secure and resilient supply chains will be front and center on their agenda. On the heels of everything that has been done to invest in semiconductor reshoring, some might ask why further action is needed.

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American Made Advocacy: The CHIPS Act is Just the Beginning


Now that the much-heralded CHIPS and Science Act has been signed into law, the work to secure the entire microelectronics ecosystem must begin. We have a long way to go in restoring balance and resilience in our critical supply chains. Over the past 20 years we have let the manufacturing and the know-how that goes with it migrate overseas. U.S. dependance on foreign suppliers won’t be reversed overnight, even by building semiconductor fabrication plants here.

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American Made Advocacy: DoD Unarmed Without the PCB


It’s been more than 800 days since the global COVID-19 pandemic upended the supply chains of almost every industry. Whether it’s a shortage of commercial and consumer electronics or automobiles, businesses and their customers are bearing the brunt of what decades of offshoring and billions in foreign manufacturing subsidies have caused. One sector that sometimes escapes the attention of everyday Americans is aerospace and defense, where high-tech platforms and equipment are essential to mission success.

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American Made Advocacy: What Happens in Washington Happens to Us All


Like many of you, I’ve spent the last few years grappling with the challenges posed by a global pandemic. Whether it’s staffing a production line or obtaining key materials, PCB manufacturers and their suppliers have had to adapt quickly to a radically changed environment. We’re more than 700 days into this new world, but as an industry, we cannot allow our day-to-day focus on operations to distract us from what is happening in Washington and what it means to the microelectronics ecosystem.

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American Made Advocacy: A Voice in Washington for American-Made PCBs


I-Connect007 welcomes new columnist Travis Kelly, president of Isola Group and now chairman of the newly formed Printed Circuit Board Association of America (PCBAA). This organization was formed to address to the U.S. Congress the critical supply chain issues facing the printed circuit board and semiconductor industries. It has three major objectives: To support domestic production of PCBs, enhance domestic supply chain security, and advocate for initiatives that create fair market conditions. Kelly is currently leading PCBAA, comprised of several domestic PCB fabricators with a vested interest in lobbying Congress on these important issues.

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