The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently agreed to collaborate on a new, multiyear public-private partnership intended to assist developing countries in effectively implementing their commitments under the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) agreement. USAID and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) first announced the program in November 2012 as a new funding facility focused on providing developing economies with concrete assistance related to capacity building.
The ANSI-USAID Standards Alliance will partner with developing nations, in a variety of regions and representing different levels of economic development, on training and other capacity building activities over a three-year period. This partnership is expected to bolster understanding of WTO TBT principles, encourage transparency in the development and alteration of technical regulations, and improve implementation of the TBT Agreement’s Code of Good Practice for the Preparation, Adoption and Application of Standards, with the larger goal of promoting trade and economic development.
Up to 10 countries will be chosen to take part in the Standards Alliance program. ANSI and USAID will oversee the selection process, with input from U.S. government and private-sector experts. Each country’s demonstrated readiness for assistance, commitment to the program’s goals, and relevant potential development and trade impacts will be considered. Expressions of interest from developing country partners are now being accepted under the Standards Alliance and applications have already been received from a number of countries.
The first official Standards Alliance event – a workshop on “Good Regulatory Practice: Shared Experiences of the United States and Indonesia” – was held in Jakarta, Indonesia on June 20–21, 2013. Organized by USTR and the National Standardization Agency of Indonesia (BSN), the workshop was carried out in collaboration with USAID’s Support for Economic Analysis Development in Indonesia (SEADI) project. The June workshop focused on two main principles of good regulatory practice: interagency coordination and public consultation. Speakers and participating organizations from the U.S. public and private sector included USTR, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), ANSI, the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Speakers from Indonesia also included a mix of public and private sector organizations such as BSN, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Industry, Bappenas (the Ministry of National Development Planning), KADIN (the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce), and APINDO (the Indonesian Employers Association).
An official U.S. launch event for the Standards Alliance will be held in the coming months, and will include information about the program’s first year work plan and opportunities for involvement. The event will be open to all interested parties; date and location information are forthcoming.
For more information about the Standards Alliance, please contact ANSI at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for over 50 years. Our assistance develops the markets of the future; long-time aid recipients have become strong trade partners and are the fastest growing markets for American goods. USAID is developing partnerships with countries committed to enabling the private sector investment that is the basis of sustained economic growth to open new markets for American goods, promote trade overseas, and create jobs here at home. For more information, please visit www.usaid.gov.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and overseeing negotiations with other countries. The head of USTR is the U.S. Trade Representative, a Cabinet member who serves as the president’s principal trade advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on trade issues. For more information, please visit www.ustr.gov.