Just Ask John Mitchell: Are IPC’s Positions Dictated by Politics?


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First, we asked you to send in your questions for Happy Holden, Joe Fjelstad, and Eric Camden in our “Just Ask” series. Now, it’s IPC President and CEO John Mitchell’s turn! A regular PCB007 columnist, John focuses on many of the challenges affecting the global electronics industry supply chain. Over the years, he has served as an engineer, manager, and executive at a variety of companies and organizations. We hope you enjoy “Just Ask John.” 

Q: Why does IPC take positions based on politics? For example, IPC supported globalization when that was popular but now supports onshoring. Why not take positions that are best for the U.S. market?

A: IPC works globally to support the growth of the electronics manufacturing industry. To this end, IPC invests in standards development, workforce credentialing programs, and, yes, advocacy. Championing sound public policies that empower our members to thrive has been a core mission of IPC since its inception. Our advocacy work on a variety of issues—environmental regulations, national security, and taxes—has helped the industry, but I acknowledge that there is still far more to do. That’s why we have stepped up our investments in government relations to support the policies our members favor.

IPC does support global trade growth, but we also believe (and have always believed) that trade must be fair and that it should not come at the expense of strong, secure, and resilient supply chains. IPC has long advocated for robust U.S. manufacturing policies. Our position hasn’t changed. What has changed is the political climate and the newfound understanding among policymakers that the U.S. government has neglected its electronics industry base. Our voice is being heard, and we are making headway. I’m hopeful that U.S. policymakers will prioritize the U.S. manufacturing base in the same way that other countries do.

A couple of final notes. First, IPC abides by a relatively simple principle. IPC only advocates for priorities that we would be willing to pursue in any other part of the world. Our goal is to empower our members to support policies that benefit them. Second, our members, through regional government relations committees, develop and track IPC’s policy priorities. If you have an interest in getting involved, please reach out to me or Chris Mitchell, IPC’s VP for government relations (as well as an I-Connect007 columnist).

To submit your questions to John, click here.

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