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U.S.—China Standards Workshop Planned for May 2004

Cooperative effort aims to assuage trade tensions

New York, Jan 16, 2004

On January 15, 2004, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) hosted a planning session in Washington, DC, for a U.S.-China Standards and Testing Workshop tentatively scheduled for May 2004 in Beijing. The workshop, announced in October 2003 by Commerce Secretary Don Evans and China’s standards leadership, will be modeled on previous bilateral U.S.-China workshops, held in 1998 and 1999. A 2005 workshop in Washington, DC, to be managed by NIST, is also planned.

As technology industries continue to expand in China, trade tensions between the Chinese and foreign industry are mounting over disparate approaches to standardization and intellectual property concerns. According to a recent New York Times article, China has adopted roughly 8,000 international product standards, while creating nearly 20,000 national product standards.

According to the DOC, the workshop will be an opportunity for broad discussions on U.S.-China standards cooperation, and will also provide numerous venues for sector-specific standards/testing breakout sessions and other meeting opportunities with the Chinese counterparts of U.S. organizations.

“We see this as an opportunity to engage in a dialogue that will result in a better understanding of each others views and systems,” said David Karmol, ANSI vice president of public policy and government affairs. Mr. Karmol and Steven Bipes, ANSI program manager, international policy - regional & bilateral programs, participated in the planning session.

Timothy Wineland, technical barriers to trade and standards specialist with the DoC’s Office of the Chinese Economic Area, International Trade Administration, agreed that the time is right for this cooperative effort, since the major reorganization of China’s standardization practices and the rising trade concerns.

The DoC is accepting proposals from industry and organizations for suggested topics and speakers for the breakout sessions or general session discussions. After receiving input, the DoC will develop a proposed agenda to share with the Chinese, with the goal of achieving an agreement on the agenda by March 19. Written contributions and presentations will due by April 10.

For more information on the workshop, please contact David Karmol (dkarmol@ansi.org; 202-331-3610) or Steven Bipes (sbipes@ansi.org,; 202-331-3607).


See related story: Discussions Continue on U.S. Private Sector Standards Office in China

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