Ambassador Miriam Sapiro, deputy U.S. trade representative, served as the keynote speaker. In her remarks, she stressed the importance of initiatives like the Standards Alliance in facilitating trade and furthering development objectives, calling the initiative a "win-win." She further noted that "U.S. companies benefit when the standards and regulations adopted by developing countries better align with global norms and practices… And developing countries benefit when they adopt globally recognized standards and norms for products, and clarify and streamline their regulatory processes for products, as it enables developing countries to improve the quality, safety, and number of the products they export." Her full remarks are available online.
Ambassador Sapiro was joined by deputy assistant administrator David Atteberry of USAID and ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia. In his remarks to attendees, Mr. Atteberry echoed Ambassador Sapiro's sentiments, saying, "USAID assistance seeks to develop the markets of the future; helping transform long-time aid recipients into strong trade partners, many of which are now among the fastest growing markets for American goods and services."
The inaugural U.S. event, held at the FHI360 Conference Center in Washington, DC, also capped off a successful week-long visit by a delegation from the first Latin American Standards Alliance participant, Peru. The delegation included officials from Peru's Ministry of Foreign Commerce and Tourism (MINCETUR), National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI), and other regulatory agencies. During their visit to Washington, DC, the delegation met with a wide variety of U.S. government and private-sector organizations to discuss mutual priorities in the areas of standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment, and contributed to the development of a work plan for future Standards Alliance activities in Peru.
The Standards Alliance will be implemented by a public-private partnership between ANSI and USAID, and will provide capacity building and other technical exchange in developing countries, specifically related to implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement. As announced by Mr. Bhatia at the inaugural event, the program's website contains a mission statement with an overview of the project and opportunities for public- and private-sector stakeholders to participate.
For more information about the Standards Alliance, visit standardsalliance.ansi.org.