U.S. Defense Legislation Reflects IPC Input on Military Electronics
IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries® is applauding leaders in the U.S. House and Senate for finalizing the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and including a provision on military electronics backed by IPC.
Reflecting IPC’s collaboration with Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Section 845 of the bill calls on the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Executive Agent for Printed Circuit Board and Interconnect Technology (based at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana) and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to prepare a report to Congress by January 2019 on the health of the U.S. defense electronics industrial base. The report will include an examination of the Department’s partnerships with industry and a plan to formalize the long-term resourcing of the Executive Agent.
IPC was successful in persuading members of Congress not to adopt a House provision that would have repealed the statutory requirement for the Executive Agent. The Executive Agent is the principal Defense Department entity charged with assuring the security and availability of printed circuit and interconnect technologies for defense electronics.
“This decision is a positive step for the electronics industry,” said IPC President and CEO John Mitchell. “Advanced electronics are at the heart of many critical defense systems, and it is our industry’s goal to ensure a resilient global electronics supply chains. We applaud Congress for taking this step, which will bring welcome attention and support to electronics manufacturers.”
During IMPACT 2018, IPC’s annual advocacy week in Washington, D.C. in May, member company executives discussed this subject with senior officials from the White House and the departments of Defense, Commerce and Labor, and IPC presented an award to Sen. Donnelly for his leadership on the issue.
IPC worked with Representatives Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN9), Ro Khanna (D-CA17), and Larry Bucshon (R-IN8) to send a congressional letter to NDAA conferees, affirming the industry’s positions on both the House and Senate bills. Meanwhile, IPC members engaged their own members of Congress, alerting them of the harmful language in the House provision.
On a related note, the Trump administration is expected to release a report soon on the overall U.S. defense industrial base. That report, prompted by a July 2017 executive order by President Donald Trump, reflects months of analysis by the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce, and Labor, and is expected to be released within weeks. The objective of the effort has been to determine whether there are enough U.S. manufacturers and trusted foreign suppliers of vital military equipment, and whether there are enough skilled workers to work in the field.
IPC looks forward to continuing its work with members of Congress and the Trump administration to address issues of concern in the electronics supply chain.