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Global Outreach Programs Continue Through ANSI Partnership with CLDP


New York, Mar 19, 2004

U.S. outreach on standards and conformity assessment activities are being strengthened by collaboration between the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP). A part of the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Commerce, the CLDP assists certain developing countries to establish legal systems that are supportive of market economies. Funding is provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Following an early February meeting of senior officials from CLDP and ANSI, the Institute participated in CLDP-sponsored conferences in Morocco and Egypt that were designed to further the Administration’s ongoing efforts to negotiate a free trade agreement with countries in the Middle East. ANSI had previously participated in a June 2003 workshop on the coordination of standards and conformity assessment activities in Southeastern Europe.

“These outreach activities are in direct alignment with our goals and responsibilities under the National Standards Strategy and the ANSI Framework for Action,” explained Dr. Mark W. Hurwitz, ANSI president and CEO.

“While tensions may exist in areas of foreign policy, they were noticeably absent in the world of standards and conformity assessment and in people-to-people encounters at these meetings,” added Jane Schweiker, senior advisor to the ANSI president and CEO, and ANSI representative to the conferences.

The two-day meeting in Morocco was jointly sponsored by CLDP and the American Chamber of Commerce in Morocco (AmCham) and was specifically focused on the needs of businesses who were interested in exporting Moroccan-manufactured goods to the United States. Titled “Breaking Into the U.S. Market,” Schweiker’s presentation primarily addressed specific questions about the U.S. standards system, regulations, and the need for exporters to work with their U.S. partners to identify the standards with which their products must comply.

“Not surprisingly, the Moroccans' primary concern seemed to be fear of litigation upon attempting to sell anything in the United States,” said Schweiker.

The second conference focused on “The Role of Standards in Promoting Industry and Trade” and was sponsored by CLDP, the Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality Control (EOS), and the Egyptian Ministry of Industry and Technological Development. Held in Cairo, the program provided a broad range of information on international standards, their development and use. Discussions focused on how Egypt can have more access to standards that already exist and input into those that are under development; whether Egypt can or will be able to comply with WTO Technical Barriers to Trade requirements; and ISO’s programs for developing countries.

“This conference was an excellent opportunity for ANSI to reinforce the positive relationship that exists between the U.S. and Egypt in the area of standards,” concluded Schweiker.

ANSI is continuing to work with CLDP on future projects, including the identification of organizations that might want to participate in future CLDP activities both here and abroad.

ANSI Focus on Services Standards