BANNOCKBURN, IL – IPC said it applauds the US House and Senate for approving IPC-backed measures that will bolster the resiliency and security of the US defense electronics industrial base.

The measures were included in the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), approved Thursday, and in the House’s version, approved Tuesday. The pro-electronics measures were offered by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Reps. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Mike Turner (R-OH), Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), Joe Wilson (R-SC), and Mike Gallagher (R-WI).

Both would require, over the next 10 years, a rising percentage of commercial (non-ITAR) PCBs and PCBAs acquired for sensitive US defense systems to be produced in the US or US-allied countries. The bills include multiple provisions to ensure the private sector will have enough time and flexibility to comply with the law if they want to sell to the US Department of Defense, IPC says. The law does not affect any company’s existing commercial business.

“These defense provisions are a positive step forward in diversifying the PCB industrial base by creating additional capacity and competition for items used in US national defense,” said Chris Mitchell, IPC vice president of global government relations. “Domestic and allied sourcing requirements for commercially available, trusted PCBs/PCBAs will spur investment in needed manufacturing capabilities, personnel, and R&D, and will reduce future costs to DoD.

“IPC is committed to global commerce and a lowering of trade barriers. We also believe countries can and must take meaningful steps to build trusted and resilient supply chains for electronics to provide for essential governmental functions, including national security.”     

Both the Senate and House NDAAs also include funding and tax credits to strengthen domestic semiconductor production, and the Senate version includes an IPC-backed measure requiring the Defense Department to analyze certain materials and technology sectors, including PCBs and other electronics components, for possible action to address sourcing and industrial capacity.

The differences between the two chambers’ bills will now be resolved by a conference committee of members from both bodies, and a final bill will be voted on soon.

Register now for PCB West Virtual 2020, the leading conference and exhibition for the printed circuit board industry, coming this September.  

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