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I made contact with Matt Turpin, CEO of Zentech, before the first evening’s dinner. We sat down to discuss what he hoped to gain by attending the event.
Patty Goldman: Matt, I’d like to know what your expectations are of this meeting.
Matt Turpin: The IPC does this every year, and I’ve been here the last five years for IPC. It’s a great opportunity for the IPC and members of the IPC to meet with their local officials on Capitol Hill as well as other people on Capitol Hill and kind of deliver the message of what’s important to IPC and the IPC vendor, whether it’s in terms of RoHS compliance or conflict minerals, etc. This year it’s Defense Department labor regulations and things like that. It’s a good way for IPC to get its point across and to influence what happens on Capitol Hill.
Goldman: How has that worked in the past?
Turpin: It’s worked out well. Some of the issues in the past have been the R&D tax credit and it looks like that is permanent at this point. I think some of the things relative to changing the narrative with conflict minerals is going slow, but it keeps the issue alive and shows that it’s not the slam dunk that Dodd-Frank thought it was going to be. There are other issues where they have had some success, like the NNMI (National Network for Manufacturing Innovation) that the White House was big on, getting that properly funded and through Congress. That was a big push and it’s been a big success.
Goldman: Do you think this is directly attributed to IPC and its members being here in Washington?
Turpin: Absolutely, yes. The IPC are tying up and spending member dollars doing this and they’ve got a local lobbying group that helps them with setting up. As part of that, they’re making sure that they’re getting back their bucks. Every year we talk about what are we going for, and what progress to aim for. The Government Affairs Committee orders routine board calls and committee calls to find out what we’re working on, what outcomes to expect and what kind of progress.
Goldman: You’ve seen real progress?
Turpin: There has been real progress. Absolutely. There’s always something new.
Goldman: I assume there is always something you have to worry about and work on.
Turpin: Congress is always trying to come up with new ways…
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of SMT Magazine.