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ANSI Policy Committee to Meet with USTR Representative for Briefing

Negotiations in the Americas to be Primary Focus

New York, Jan 23, 2003

Members of the American National Standards Institute’s International Policy Committee (IPC) and Regional Standing Committee on the Americas (RSC-A) will gather for a “Briefing on U.S. Trade Negotiations within the Americas” on February 7, 2003. The session will be led by Ms. Suzanne Troje, director for technical trade barriers in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The agenda will cover recent USTR negotiations and developments in Latin and South America with emphasis on standards and conformity assessment issues.

“This kind of dialogue is invaluable to regional and international committee members as they address standards and conformity assessment and their relationships to international trade,” said Gary Kushnier, ANSI vice president of international policy.

Briefing topics will include recent negotiations on the proposed U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA, launched on January 8, 2003 when U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick met with ministers from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. According to the USTR, the agreement would eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade in goods, agriculture, services, and investment between the United States and Central America.

CAFTA news and several other developments will be addressed, including an update from the October 2002 meeting on the Southern Cone Common Market, or Mercosur, the trade bloc that includes Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, with Chile and Bolivia as associate members. The 7th Ministerial Meeting of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) was held in Quito in November 2002, and a report of its results and future expectations is expected.

The IPC monitors many key regional activities around the world and is responsible for the development of ANSI’s strategic directions and policies related to international and regional standardization. Three Regional Standing Committees (RSC) function as part of the IPC to improve response time and broaden the participation of ANSI federation members in the formulation of policy positions regarding regional standards and conformity assessment activities. The IPC has an ongoing partnership with the USTR on matters related to the World Trade Organization (WTO), FTAA and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance.

ANSI Focus on Services Standards