Three top industry organizations this week urged U.S. Congress to support legislation that would address challenges confronting the U.S. electronics supply chain.
The letter, organized by IPC, a global electronics manufacturing association, urged Members of Congress to support H.R. 7677, the Supporting American Printed Circuit Boards Act of 2022, which would incentivize purchases of domestically produced printed circuit boards (PCBs) as well as industry investments in factories, equipment, workforce training, and research and development (R&D).
The letter—also signed by the Printed Circuit Board Association of America (PCBAA) and the U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics (USPAE)—notes that PCBs are as integral to electronics manufacturing as semiconductors. And yet, despite their importance, the United States has failed for decades to prioritize domestic manufacturing of PCBs and electronics more broadly. Instead, U.S policy has bolstered specific components of the electronics supply chain—especially semiconductors and capacitors—without recognizing that electronic systems cannot function without PCBs. Like any ecosystem, each component must be healthy and resilient for the entire system to thrive.
“By solely focusing on semiconductors, the United States would not be solving the problem that it seeks to resolve. The U.S. Government needs to take a holistic approach to the electronics industry,” said IPC President and CEO John W. Mitchell. “We thank Representatives Anna Eshoo and Blake Moore for their leadership in helping to rebuild U.S. electronics manufacturing, and we call on all Members of Congress to support this bill, which would ease an already strained U.S. supply chain and improve national security.”
A recent IPC report concluded that the United States has lost its historic dominance in PCB fabrication. Any loss of access to imported PCBs could be “catastrophic” to the United States’ ability to produce electronics for weapons systems, communications equipment, medical devices, energy systems, and more, the report said.