The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), through its public-private partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) known as the Standards Alliance, organized two days of standards-related events in Washington, D.C., as part of a delegation visit to the United States for members of the Ghanaian textiles and apparel industry. The visit was part of the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).
The 10-day IVLP visit, from December 5-13, provided nine Ghanaian participants a detailed introduction to the U.S. textiles and apparel market as well as the U.S. regulatory environment. ANSI, with help from Sandler Trade LLC, organized the standards-related events, which provided delegates with an understanding of the market opportunities and requirements for textiles and apparel in the United States. During the first day, Ghanaian participants traveled to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), where they discussed international trade agreements, U.S. trade preference programs, and technical regulations required to gain access to the U.S. market.
Following their meeting with the USTR, delegates traveled to Sandler Trade LLC to learn about the development of the voluntary standards and testing systems that form the foundation of U.S. testing and regulatory requirements. Presentations by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) detailed specific regulatory requirements, while ASTM International and Bureau Veritas provided context to the regulations by explaining voluntary standards and testing systems in the U.S.
Delegates also discussed the U.S. textiles and apparel market with Sandler Trade LLC. These discussions helped the Ghanaian participants brainstorm how their products might fit in the U.S. market and helped to further solidify the importance of technical regulations to gain access to the market.
The delegation also met with the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), Fair Trade America (FTA), and the Fair Trade Federation (FTF). Presentations by these organizations provided additional information on fair trade market requirements and related certifications.
The standards-related events built a foundation for the remainder of the U.S. State Department-sponsored trip. Following their Washington visit, the IVLP delegates traveled to North Carolina to view U.S. on-the-ground design, production, and retail operations. The delegates visited U.S. companies operating in North Carolina and learned about U.S. marketing approaches, U.S. import practices, and state government promotion of trade. They also visited universities, trade associations and U.S. government agencies involved in importing goods.
More information about Standards Alliance activities and delegation visit materials, including the agenda and presentations, are available on the Standards Alliance website.
About Ghana and the Standards Alliance
The Standards Alliance is a funding facility that provides capacity building assistance to developing countries specifically related to the implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement.
Ghana is one of five countries that were added to the Standards Alliance as part of the Trade Africa initiative. Newly added countries include: Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal, and Zambia. The Standards Alliance work plan with Ghana includes future exchanges and opportunities to build on the topics discussed at the workshop. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Standards Alliance is a joint ANSI-U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) initiative that supports global cooperation and capacity building in the areas of standards development, technical regulations, good regulatory practice, and conformity assessment.