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16 PCB007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 China are made by American companies, support American jobs, and are sold to American consumers as American goods. IPC supports the right of all countries to address unfair trade practices, and we have long- standing concerns about some of China's industrial policies, including government subsidies and intellectual property viola- tions. But addressing unfair trade practices by ratcheting up tariffs is like using a sledgehammer to make orange juice; in both cas- es, it's the wrong tool and makes a mess of the job. We were warned of the harm to manufacturers and consum- ers when the idea of tariffs was first discussed, and we have been watching the situation like a hawk since the trade war began. We are com- mitted to advocating for our members as this trade war takes a toll on our industry. To be- gin to fix this situation, IPC is calling on the governments of the United States and China to de-escalate the tariffs and focus on concluding meaningful agreements that address the long- standing concerns of both sides. Moreover, the U.S., China, and other major trading partners need to recommit themselves to strong multi- lateral mechanisms to enforce existing and fu- ture trade agreements. The bottom line is we're in a "wait-and-see" situation, and until we see some solutions, the tariffs will continue to take a toll on the elec- tronics industry and our workers and custom- ers. We are aware of the issues you are facing, and we are doing our best to help. Please feel free to reach out to me with any concerns you have. Let's continue the conversation and work on solving this critical issue together. PCB007 Dr. John Mitchell is president and CEO of IPC–Association Connecting Electronics Industries. To read past columns or contact Mitchell, click here. While some manufacturers are not affected by the trade war, the overall response shows that rising tariffs are putting a painful squeeze on many electronics manufacturers in the Unit- ed States, China, and even Europe—and on their business partners and customers as well. IPC members tell us they are facing supply- chain disruptions, steeper costs, and market- access problems from the tariffs that have been imposed to date, and the impacts are likely to grow as the trade war drags on. Tariffs are taxes, and they distort global com- petition, create an uneven playing field for busi- nesses, and force companies to choose sub-opti- mal, second-best alternatives when it comes to their global operations. More importantly, the uncertainty of tariffs damage workers' job secu- rity. Consumers and businesses on both sides of the ocean now face the burden of higher annual costs in the tens of billions of dollars. IPC's position on this issue is rooted in the fact that electronics manufacturing facilities are located throughout the world, including the United States and China, and they are en- gaged in a complex web of supply-chain rela- tionships that cross multiple borders. Impos- ing tariffs on goods from a single country like China gives the false notion that we are creat- ing a steeper hill only for Chinese goods. More accurately, a great many goods coming from

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