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SMT-June2016

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June 2016 • SMT Magazine 53 bers of Congress on the impact this will have on our industry. On the other hand, as of May 23, IPC's lan- guage on by-products (TSCA item) has been included in the compromise being worked out between the House and Senate. This will indeed be a benefit to (mainly) PCB fabricators, keep- ing recycling practical and sensible. A vote is ex- pected in House this week and the Senate possi- bly next week. This is a big win for our industry and is a direct result of efforts at IMPACT. And now to the "Why." I think I'm like most of you—I abhor politics, politicians and all things that smack of them, which of course includes at least half the population of Wash- ington, D.C. However, ya gotta do what ya gotta do, as they say. And as John Hasselmann says, "You are either at the table or on the menu," meaning that if we don't speak up and let Washington know what is important and vi- tal to our industry, then we are at the mercy of whatever regulations suit their fancy—or are on the agenda of the myriad government agen- cies and/or special interest groups (think EPA, OSHA, Greenpeace, etc.). It became obvious to me through conversa- tions with the attendees that some of the con- gresspersons and their staff viewed corporations as the enemy, though others were more open- minded. It's so easy to look the other way (or vote the other way…) when a corporation or business is far away and seen as a big blob full of greedy people who don't want to share their wealth (magically produced, apparently). But when actually sitting down face to face, sud- denly that abstract enemy entity becomes real, the company president becomes a real person and then he mentions the 10,000 or 1,000 or even 50–60 people that work for him (duh, vot- ers!), and perspectives change. And so it was and is. One thing I heard time and again was the importance, the criticality of a face-to-face meeting with one's represen- tatives in Congress and/or a member of their staff. More than one attendee mentioned visits to their facilities by their representative and the very positive impression it made on some. A bo- nus for the CEO was that the tours sometimes became a town meeting for their employees, which is definitely a win-win. All of this happens and happened at IM- PACT Washington, D.C. 2016. Many of the participants had been to IMPACT several times before but some were newcomers. IPC's Wash- ington staff carefully prepared the agenda, the talking points, so to speak, and thoroughly coached participants on how to approach vari- ous representatives. In one case, specific "hot buttons" were to be carefully avoided. This was serious, important business. I can't stress that enough—as important as that next piece of equipment or facility upgrade, in fact probably more important, considering the number of things in Washington working against staying in business. So don't sit back and wait for someone else to go. Start thinking about and planning for IMPACT 2017, next April. There will be a new administration, new members in Congress, and more educating to be done. New bills will be proposed. Will they be pro-business? Will they help or hinder your business? In the meantime, contact IPC's John Hassel- mann and ask him to help set up a visit or tour with your representatives at your company. Bookmark and regularly check IPC's Govern- ment Relations page for updates on legislation and other info that could affect your company, along with the latest issue of the Global Advo- cacy Report. Do be proactive and take part. It's good for you, good for your business and good for our industry. I hope you find this special section enlight- ening and inspiring. And thank you. SMT

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