ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Discussions Continue on U.S. Private Sector Standards Office in China

Washington, DC, Oct 03, 2003

Discussions continued today at ANSI headquarters regarding Commerce Secretary Donald Evan’s suggestion for the establishment of a U.S. private sector standards office in China. Timothy Wineland, technical barriers to trade and standards specialist with the Commerce Department’s Office of the Chinese Economic Area, International Trade Administration, explained that Secretary Evans would like to announce an agreement by U.S. private sector interests to open such an office when he meets with Chinese officials in Beijing the week of October 27.

The meeting at ANSI followed an open roundtable on China standards issues held September 16 at the Department of Commerce. Today’s meeting allowed interested participants to further explore the objectives, structure and budget, logistics and resources issues associated with opening a China office. Participating from the private sector were representatives from ANSI members API, ASTM, GAMA, NSF International, SAE, TIA and USITO, the U.S. Information Technology Office.

USITO, a U.S. nonprofit organization representing private sector interests in the IT and telecom sectors in Beijing since 1994, has been cited as a possible model for the office. USITO initially was launched with a grant from the Commerce Department’s Market Development Cooperator Program with matching grants from participating associations.

Participants were candid in assessing the challenges associated with opening a cross-sectoral office given the diverse objectives and structures of U.S. standards developing organizations. At the same time, it was recognized that there were a number of objectives common to members of the standards community that could be advanced by having a physical presence in China. These included: promoting U.S. globally relevant standards and conformity assessment goals in China, educating Chinese officials about the U.S. standards system, information gathering, creating government to government linkages, increasing participation by Chinese technical experts on SDOs’ standards committees, addressing translation, copyright and licensing issues, and overcoming conformity assessment trade barriers. The meeting culminated in an agreement to prepare a joint letter of intent to open such an office and outline broadly its objectives in time for Secretary Evans’s October 27 meeting with the Chinese.

For further information, please contact David Karmol, ANSI vice president of government affairs and public policy (

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