The fact sheet notes examples of Standards Alliance activities that have reduced obstacles to U.S. trade, including training for officials from the East African Community and the South African Development Community to improve the operation of their enquiry points, the government offices that are responsible for notifying proposed measures to the WTO. Standards Alliance activities have also addressed U.S. business as noted elsewhere in the USTR report. For instance, an April 2016 workshop with members of the Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT) focused on automotive safety standards and regulation, and contributed to the subsequent revision of problematic regulations in Colombia and Ecuador.
The collaboration represents the influence of the public-private partnership that ANSI fosters within the U.S. standardization community to develop concrete solutions to standards, conformance, and technical barriers to trade (TBT) issues worldwide. Many of these activities are initiated through the work of the Standards Alliance, which formed when ANSI and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) agreed to collaborate on a multiyear public-private partnership intended to assist developing countries in effectively implementing their commitments under the World Trade Organization (WTO)'s TBT agreement.
USAID and USTR first announced the Standards Alliance program in November 2012 as a funding facility focused on providing developing economies with concrete assistance related to capacity building.
The Standards Alliance continues to partner with developing nations, in a variety of regions and representing different levels of economic development, on training and other capacity building activities. This partnership bolsters understanding of WTO TBT principles, encourages transparency in the development and alteration of technical regulations, and improves 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.
Released in conjunction with the 2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE), the Fact Sheet is available on the USTR website.