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86 The PCB Magazine • March 2017 Among its priorities, IPC advocates for lower corporate tax rates and incentives that stimu- late business investment; and for international trade agreements that advance open and fair trade among countries. Further, IPC endorses ambitious workforce development initiatives, especially in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). As part of this, we support immigration policies that allow for international mobility among highly skilled workers to ensure that companies have access to the talent they need to be glob- ally competitive. Simply put, industry lives or dies on its peo- ple. Thus, workforce development and high- skilled immigration are two critical policy pri- orities that will help ensure our member com- panies can both recruit and maintain the next generation of workers. Driving Technological Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing For more than 60 years, IPC member com- panies have supplied high-reliability electron- ics for a wide array of applications in defense, transportation, aerospace, industrial, medical, and other industries. Staying competitive in the global economy requires continuous investment in basic and applied research and development (R&D), as well as programs to spur advanced manufac- turing innovation. For example, IPC is a strong supporter of public-private partnerships such as the innovation institutes established through Manufacturing USA in the United States and the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. Furthermore, IPC continues to promote strong intellectual property protection and strives to prevent counterfeit products in the supply chain through our standards initiatives and advocacy efforts. Advocating for Smart Regulation and Environmental Policy Manufacturers in many parts of the world face a complex and overwhelming regulatory compliance burden that negatively impacts their abilities to develop innovative technolo- gy, create jobs, and compete in a global market- place. Oftentimes, regulations, such as those on conflict minerals, are overly burdensome and do not achieve the intended result. IPC strongly supports efforts among gov- ernments to reform their regulatory processes to ensure greater public scrutiny and a balance among risks, costs and benefits based on the best available scientific research. IPC also supports voluntary environmental initiatives and thorough, life-cycle evaluations of substances and their alternatives prior to any restrictions. Your Turn There's an old expression in politics: "If you're not at the table, you're on the menu!" In other words, leaders of our industry must work hard to ensure we have a seat at the table. If we forfeit our right to educate our elected of- ficials and propose solutions, then our interests could be at risk. Opportunities to strengthen the industry could be lost. That's why IPC places such a high priority on our government relations program, and our lobbying team is on the job for this industry, year-round. But here's where you come in. We need you to help us help you! Because quite often, IPC member company leaders are the industry's best spokespersons. You have front-line experience—you vote—and in many cases, you have influence in your com- munities. IPC'S GLOBAL POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR 2017—SMART ADVOCACY FOR THE INDUSTRY

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