In her testimony, Ms. Marasco described the U.S. standards system as a "bottom up" approach in which standards users drive and define standardization activities.
"We rely upon the involvement and cooperation of diverse stakeholders - from industry, from government, and from consumer groups - that may come to the standards-setting table with very different points of view," explained Ms. Marasco. "We believe that this diversity is what gives our system its strength. And a strong standards system is absolutely linked to success in the global economy."
She also underscored ANSI's commitment to a system in which marketplace and societal needs determine the timing, content requirements, and number of standards that are to be developed under a voluntary, consensus-based standards process.
"In addition to advancing trade, we believe that standardization also enhances consumer health and safety, responds to critical and global priorities, and helps to advance U.S. viewpoints in regional and international arenas," she continued.
She also highlighted the United States Standards Strategy (USSS), the U.S. Conformity Assessment Principles, and the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) - landmark legislation which directs U.S. federal agencies to rely upon voluntary consensus standards and to participate in private-sector-led standards development activities.
Ms. Marasco emphasized the U.S. standardization system's endorsement of the World Trade Organization (WTO)'s Technical Barrier to Trade Agreement and the idea that standards that adhere to those principles are globally relevant.
"Ultimately, our view is that there are multiple paths to a globally relevant standard," she stated. "Whether developed by a national participation model, a direct participation model, or a consortia group, standards should be developed to meet societal and market needs. They should never act as barriers to trade.
"The U.S. standardization system is open and accessible, and has frequently been used as a model for others to emulate. Our nation is committed not only to serving the interests of those within our borders, but also to supporting a global trading system that is balanced and without barriers."
About Amy Marasco
Amy Marasco is the general manager for standards strategy at Microsoft, leading a team that addresses strategic policy and engagement issues on a corporate-wide, global basis. She regularly engages in policy discussions involving standards, intellectual property rights, and competition law issues at numerous standards bodies and in many other forums.
Among other activities, Ms. Marasco is one of three rapporteurs at the TSB Director's IPR Ad Hoc Group at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T), co-chairman of the Standards Policy Committee at the Intellectual Property Owners Association, chairman of the Standards and IPR Policy Committee at the Telecommunications Industry Association, and incoming vice chairman of the ANSI IPR Policy Committee. She has testified or given presentations on standards-related policy issues upon request by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice (Antitrust Division), the European Commission, METI (the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry), and CESI and CNIS (in the People's Republic of China).
Ms. Marasco joined Microsoft after serving as the vice president and general counsel of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) from 1994-2004. Prior to joining ANSI, she was an attorney with the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in its New York office.