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December 2015 • The PCB Magazine 73 the time to leave their business and to travel to Washington, and they can say, "I work for this company. We employ X-number of people in this city. This is the problem I have in my plant," it makes a huge impact. Whenever we can, we encourage members to come. Whenev- er we have a big meeting on a policy issue, we have members there. Then, annually, we have an event called IM- PACT—it was in April this year—where we do what I call proactive work. We're not necessar- ily lobbying on a specific issue; we might tell Congress about our policy framework and the issues that we're working on, but we're really there to build relationships, to let people meet and talk with their representatives so when we do need to call on them, that relationship is al- ready there. Goldman: Those are some really big wins. That was great. Abrams: That's two that come to mind in a 15- year career. Goldman: Does that get discouraging? Abrams: No, it's part of the job. I could maybe come up with more, if we went into the medium- sized, but those are the big ones. Maybe another would be persuading the European Union (EU) not to list additional substances under RoHS. Goldman: And how is it looking for that? Abrams: When the EU revised RoHS in 2011, it was only a partial victory, because they del- egated that to the EU Commission, and so we get to work with the bureaucrats, and it gets to be a quasi-science-based process, as opposed to a fully political one. The EU did restrict four ad- ditional substances this year, and there will be more to come. That's why I'd put that in the medium victory category. Goldman: Okay, thanks so much for filling all of us in and talking with me. This is really good informa- tion. I don't think we can emphasize enough to our members how important they are in government relations. Abrams: I agree. Goldman: You're a lobbyist, more or less. I don't know if you call yourself that, or you think of your- self as such. Abrams: I am a registered lobbyist. Goldman: Of course, but our members are not. They represent companies and people employed, and that makes a huge difference to the people in Washington. Abrams: In Washington, in Brussels, or in Bei- jing. I didn't talk about our work in China at all, because we have really great on-site people there, and their system is completely different from ours. You would never say "lobbying" in China, it's all about relationship-building. Eu- rope's system is a little closer to ours, so I do work in Europe sometimes because those regu- lations affect our members. It's not just about Washington. Goldman: Thank you so much. Abrams: Thank you, Patty. PCB IPC'S FERN ABRAMS: KEEPING UP WITH REGULATORY MATTERS FeATure inTerview

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