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64 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2024 Interview by Marcy LaRont I-CONNECT007 In the late 1990s, I worked for a PCB com- pany ardently working to build manufacturing presences in Malaysia, Taiwan, and eventually China's mainland. For some of us who had the resources, we followed our OEM customers offshore as they began demanding increasingly greater price concessions from their stateside suppliers. e government was not coming to the rescue of the PCB manufacturer, so we rode the changing economic tide as it turned unwaveringly toward globalism and cheaper labor. In my youth and naiveté, I figured that cap- italism would dictate the survival of the mar- Advocacy: There's No Time to Waste ket's fittest, both in the United States and across the globe, especially given the reality that our greatest international critics were so clearly driving their economies via the capital- ism they had spent much energy decrying. But the playing field would never be level. Most U.S. PCB manufacturers still in busi- ness then were running tight processes, build- ing high yields, and making decent money. Still, the U.S. PCB supply chain continued to shrink. As we each pushed toward ITAR to get a piece of the then-limited mil/aero pie, the first wave of PCB (and EMS) mergers and acquisitions commenced.

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