ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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NIST Grant Advances Web Portal for U.S./China Standards

New York, Nov 28, 2005

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has been awarded a $250,000 matching grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to support the development of a new U.S./China Standards Portal. The ANSI-sponsored website will provide information and online educational materials on the structure and operation of the Chinese and U.S. standards systems, as well as the translated titles and scopes of selected standards used in each of the two nations.

Standards-related issues are a significant concern among U.S. businesses competing in the Chinese market. In a recent survey of members of the U.S.-China Business Council, standards ranked sixth among the top 10 concerns of U.S. companies, up from eighth a year earlier.

The initial scope of this project will encompass up to 2,000 standards that are identified as most critical for the cross border trade of goods and services between the U.S. and China. Key bibliographic information for approximately 1,000 standards from each nation will be translated into the language of the other country so that stakeholders can effectively search for and identify the specifications impacting imports and exports in defined industry sectors. ANSI anticipates the site will be operational by the third quarter of 2006.

NIST intends to provide additional funding for enhancements to the portal. The additional funds also would help to support an “Options for Action” Summit meeting, tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2006.

Organized by ANSI and NIST, this high-level meeting for standards developers and industry and government representatives will focus on the development of timetables and actions that can be taken to make the U.S. more competitive internationally in the standards arena. Participants will devise methods to coordinate and leverage the resources of individual organizations to respond more effectively to external standards-related challenges to innovation and competitiveness.

Embodied in safety and other regulations or specified by customers, standards influence an estimated 80 percent of global merchandise trade. Occasionally, some of these technical requirements, which range in scope from specific types of products to organizational management and quality systems, may pose market-entry barriers to merchandise and services exported by other nations.