ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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“Options for Action Summit” to Address U.S. Competitiveness in Global Standardization Activities

Corporate, government and standards officials to gather in July 2006

New York, Jan 31, 2006

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host an “Options for Action Summit” on July 18-19, 2006, on the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, MD. The event will focus on the identification of key standards-related issues that affect U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace and the definition of steps to ensure effective representation of U.S. technology interests in international standardization. High-level representatives from government, a wide range of industry sectors, and the standards development community are invited to attend.

The Summit will include an assessment of how the United States and its standards-setting activities are perceived overseas. Participants also will discuss assertions that the U.S. is being outspent by other developed nations in efforts that influence developing countries’ decisions on what standards to adopt. Consideration will be given to harmonizing standards-related technical assistance and outreach efforts that are already underway by U.S. stakeholders in certain developing nations and various standardization forums. Breakout sessions will further explore issues and nuances specific to particular technology sectors.

Outcomes are expected to include recommended actions, as well as strategies, resources, and timetables for their implementation.

The newly published United States Standards Strategy (USSS), the Secretary of Commerce’s “Standards and Competitiveness” report, and the 2005 U.S. National Export Strategy, produced by the federal government's Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee, will serve as foundations for the two-day discussion.

“We must leverage every opportunity that will strengthen and improve U.S. performance in the global marketplace,” said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI president and chief executive officer. “This meeting will arm U.S. stakeholders with information about global standards implications, enhance their ability to access forums for the international coordination of standards, and help to harmonize the actions of U.S. stakeholders.”

Although largely invisible to consumers, standards enable efficient commerce and ensure that products and services meet agreed-upon specifications and perform as described. As products and the technologies they incorporate grow in complexity and commercial value, standards grow in importance, affecting, for example, whether one company’s products will work with those of another firm. In addition, regional and nation-to-nation differences in standards can pose barriers to market entry.

More detailed information on the summit will be available at ANSI online:

ANSI Nanotechnology Standards Panel