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ANSI Delegation Convenes with European Standardization Organization Representatives During Bilateral Meeting

New York and Washington, DC, Nov 15, 2002

Officials of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), along with representatives of the European Commission (EC) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA), met with members of the ANSI Federation on November 5-7, 2002 in Washington, DC, for the 17th bilateral meeting between American and European standardization organizations.

The meeting was the latest in a series of ongoing coordination dialogues between an ANSI delegation and the European Standards Organizations and the EC. It brought together more than 30 U.S. delegates, 20 European delegates and several ANSI staff to review opportunities for cooperation and collaboration between the regions to advance trade issues, protect the environment, develop more effective social initiatives, improve safety and health programs and make improvements in a score of other areas that will benefit the global economy while also resulting in the betterment of the lives of the world's workers and consumers.

In his opening remarks to the assembled delegates, ANSI president and CEO Dr. Mark W. Hurwitz, said, "It is a great pleasure for us to have this opportunity to engage once again in a friendly, open and informal dialogue with our colleagues from Europe. We find that this annual exchange of information is an essential component of the strengthening relationship between individuals and, more importantly, between the organizations and regions they represent."

Robert W. Noth, manager of engineering standards for Deere & Company and chairman of the ANSI Regional Standing Committee on Europe, Middle East and Africa, co-chaired the meeting with Mr. Karl Heinz Rosenbrock, Director General of ETSI. Several topics discussed during the exchange focused on activities related to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), including a discussion on respective developments in the respective global relevance of ISO, IEC and ITU deliverables to meet the needs of the global markets and regulators; the ISO pilot projects and the IEC double-logo initiative.

Agenda items on other standardization topics included a discussion on performance- versus design-based standards; intellectual property rights associated with the content of standards and relation to competition law, and protecting the copyright held by SDOs in the electronic age of distribution of standards; an increasing use of "co-regulatory" practices to address social and environmental policy concerns; and a report on the status of COPANT's involvement in the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) and the Electrotechnical Cooperation of the Americas. Conformity assessment and accreditation topics were also addressed, as was a report on the status of implementation of Protocols for European Conformity Assessment (PECAs) in Europe.

"We recognize that future opportunities to collaborate on initiatives underway in the international standards development process make this a very exciting and potent time for enhancing partnerships, coordinating conformity assessment and decentralizing standards development programs," explained Dr. George Arnold, chairman of the ANSI International Committee and head of the ANSI delegation to the meeting. "I am confident that the dialogue we have engaged in this week will not only help each of us to more clearly recognize that our regions share a common view of many issues but also to identify several projects to pursue together in the future."

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