ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI Delegates Return to China

Discussion to Focus on Chinese Transition to a More Open and Transparent Standards Development System

New York, Jul 01, 2002

An American National Standards Institute (ANSI) delegation, organized by the Institute's Regional Standing Committee on Asia-Pacific (RSC-AP), will meet with Chinese counterparts in the fall to continue dialogue begun at last year concerning the value of a more open and transparent standardization process in response to China's efforts to reorganize their current system.

The importance of this discussion is emphasized by China's recent accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), a group that sets global trading rules between participating nations. Given the fact that approximately 80% of global merchandise trade is affected by standards and by regulations that embody standards,[1] the ANSI delegation's mission to promulgate the benefits of an open, transparent standards and conformity system to one of America's most important trading partners is one step toward ensuring more balanced trade between the two economic powers.

According to Gary Kushnier, ANSI's vice-president of international policy, "The current changes taking place within the Chinese standards and conformity assessment system toward one that is more responsive to market influences. This process could provide U.S. and other interests with increased opportunity to promote their technologies within Chinese standards development activities."

The upcoming meeting will be the second visit to China by ANSI delegates. In April 2001, RSC-AP members presented the benefits of a decentralized standards and conformity assessment system as a model for China to follow as changes to their "top-down," government-directed system were taking place in preparation for WTO accession. Meetings with regional organizations are an important element of ANSI's international outreach efforts as set forth in the U.S. National Standards Strategy (NSS), specifically Goal 7 that emphasizes the necessity of promoting the benefits of a decentralized system, which promotes U.S. technologies, standards and processes.

The RSC-AP plans to visit China on November 17-19, 2002 with a meeting between the U.S. and Japan to take place afterwards on November 21-22, 2002; an agenda is currently being developed for both trips. ANSI members are encouraged to join the RSC-AP to participate in this and similar activities; interested parties should contact Mary Bowers, program manager for International Policy, Regional and Bilateral Programs at (t) 202.331.3607 or (e) mbowers@ansi.org.

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[1] Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology Testimony before the House Committee on Science, Subcommittee on Technology, September 13, 2000.

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