Electronics Industry Endorses US-Mexico-Canada Pact


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Top executives from electronics companies across the United States are in Washington, D.C., this week to endorse the proposed U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) and call on the Trump Administration and Congress to support policies that will drive advanced manufacturing.

IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries, which represents more than 5,300 member facilities across the $2 trillion electronics supply chain, is hosting its annual U.S. advocacy event, IMPACT Washington, D.C.

In a newly released report, commissioned by IPC and written by economist Shawn DuBravac, the group says it believes the USMCA is a positive step for the electronics sector and should be approved by the U.S. Congress this year.

“Many of our members have deep investments and thousands of employees in the United States, Mexico and Canada,” said IPC President and CEO John Mitchell. “Building a stronger U.S. electronics industry will depend in no small measure on building a stronger North American supply chain. That, in turn, will improve the region’s stature as a bastion of strength, stability, and jobs creation in an uncertain world.”The report notes the total value of U.S. electronics trade with Canada and Mexico was $155.5 billion in 2017. Electronics exports are 31% of all U.S. exports of manufactured goods, natural resources and energy to Mexico, and 18% of all U.S. exports of manufactured goods, natural resources and energy exports to Canada.

Beyond the underlying economics, several specific provisions of USMCA would benefit the industry, including the inclusion of chapters on small and medium-sized enterprises, digital services, and intellectual property protection. On the other hand, IPC is concerned about the sunset clause and proposed changes in regional content requirements for automobiles, both of which create uncertainties.

The IPC member-company executives are meeting today with Daniel Watson, the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for North America and one of the chief negotiators for the USMCA, to express the industry’s support. The group will meet tomorrow with senior staff of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, both of which oversee trade policy.  

In addition to advocating for the USMCA, the C-suite executives are meeting with leaders in Congress and the Executive Branch to discuss other issues including defense electronics, EPA regulations, and workforce education and training. IPC members will meet with 20 congressional offices; Eric Ueland, deputy director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; Mike Molnar, director of the Office of Advanced Manufacturing (OAM) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); Henry Darwin, acting deputy administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and Scott Stump, assistant secretary for technical, Career and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education. 

Participating member companies include Calumet Electronics Corp. of Calumet, Mich.; Chemcut Corporation of State College, Penn.; Eagle Circuits of Dallas, Tex., Juki Automation Systems, Inc. of Fremont, Calif.; Heller Industries Inc. 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 Corporation of Ontario, Calif.; VirTex Enterprises of Austin, Tex.; and Zentech Manufacturing of Windsor Mill, Md.

More information on IMPACT Washington, D.C. can be found at www.ipc.org/IMPACT-2019.

Fast Facts About the Electronics Industry

  • Electronics are at the heart of almost all industries today, from aerospace/military to automotive, information technology, telecom, manufacturing, retail, and healthcare.
  • About 80 percent of IPC members are small- and medium-sized businesses, but some are large household names.
  • The sector employs more than 2 million Americans in well-paid jobs.

About IPC

IPC is a global industry association based in Bannockburn, Ill., dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its more than 5,300 member-company sites which represent all facets of the electronics industry, including design, printed board manufacturing, electronics assembly and test. As a member-driven organization and leading source for industry standards, training, market research and public policy advocacy, IPC supports programs to meet the needs of an estimated $2 trillion global electronics industry. IPC maintains additional offices in Taos, N.M.; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Brussels, Belgium; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; Bangalore and New Delhi, India; Bangkok, Thailand; and Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Beijing, China.

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