On September 23, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) held a workshop in Beijing on U.S. and Chinese approaches to participation in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The workshop was just one activity organized during a 4-day visit to China by ANSI vice president of international policy Joseph Tretler and several department staff [see related article].
Both ANSI and SAC serve as their countries' member bodies to the international organization. In recent years, China has significantly increased its participation in ISO. As a result, ANSI and SAC have strengthened their commitment to coordinating on technical proposals and policy positions where appropriate. This effort has seen several recent breakthroughs.
For example, ANSI and SAC worked together in 2014 to gather U.S. stakeholder feedback on a draft SAC proposal for a new international standard in audit data collection. U.S. comments were incorporated into the version SAC later submitted to ISO for consideration by the full membership. Consequently, the U.S. was able to vote in favor of the proposal and form an ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to facilitate participation in the newly established ISO/PC 295, Audit data collection. The PC has its first plenary in November in Beijing.
Both sides recognize that successful cooperation depends on a robust understanding of each country's approach to ISO participation. The one-day workshop in Beijing was attended by over 140 Chinese experts involved in ISO technical work. ANSI's senior director for international policy Steven Cornish presented on the U.S. approach to stakeholder engagement, establishment of U.S. TAGs or national mirror committees (NMCs), building consensus and strengthening the effectiveness of NMCs, and effective participation in ISO meetings. Representatives from SAC, the Chinese National Institute of Standardization (CNIS), and several other organizations hosting Chinese NMCs presented on the Chinese approach.