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ANSI Submits Response to National Survey on U.S. Standards Policies

All U.S. stakeholders urged to review the survey questions on respond on behalf of their organizations

New York, May 29, 2009

Earlier today, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) submitted a response to the National Survey on U.S. Standards Policies. Conducted by the Center for Global Standards Analysis, the survey seeks to collect information from the standards and conformity assessment community on the roles of the private and public sectors in standards development, and on education and training programs for the next generation of standards professionals.

ANSI’s response to the survey is now available online in both .pdf and Microsoft Word formats.

As coordinator of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the Institute invites all relevant stakeholders to review the survey questions, take freely from the response offered above, and submit their own responses directly to the Center by the June 30, 2009, deadline.

Originally issued on March 16, 2009, the e-mail survey contains the following two questions:

  • Given the impact of Globalization, is there a need to change current United States policies for development of private sector technology standards; i.e., that the private sector will provide the leadership and resources for development of such standards, as necessary, and the government will play a supporting role? If so, what specific changes should be made to roles of the private and public sectors in developing such standards?
  • Given increased attention to national standards education programs around the world, should the United States increase its support for U.S. standards education programs in order to maintain or enhance its competitive position in the global marketplace? If so, what are your organization’s specific recommendations for increased standards education support in the private, public and academic sectors? Does your organization currently have an existing standards education program?

ANSI staff developed a proposed response to these questions on behalf of the Institute with input from members of the Executive Committee. Following a comment period and a letter ballot, ANSI’s response was approved by the National Policy Committee (NPC) on May 26, 2009, and submitted to the Center on May 29, 2009.

In response to the first question, ANSI asserts that no change to the current private sector-led and public sector-supported standardization system is warranted. As evidenced by the successful implementation of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995, Public Law 104-113 (NTTAA), the current system works well and has been adapted to the integrated global economy through the United States Standards Strategy (USSS). A recent statement by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is also offered, which reads in part, “In [the U.S. government’s] view, the standard setting process should be voluntary and market-driven. Unnecessary government intervention can impair innovation, standards development, industry competitiveness, and consumer choice.” [see related article]

In response to the second survey question, ANSI agrees that the U.S. should increase its support for standards education programs and endorses Strategic Initiative 10 of the USSS, “Establish standards education as a high priority within the United States private, public and academic sectors.” The Institute goes on to describe several recent or ongoing Committee on Education initiatives that are dedicated to the fulfillment of Strategic Initiative 10, including the Institute’s University Outreach Program, its free and publicly available education resource, and support of multiple workshops, competitions, and fora that promote education about standardization.

Additional background information about the National Survey on U.S. Standards Policies has been posted to ANSI’s Key Documents of Interest page – a broad resource that aggregates background information and news on key issues of interest to the entire standards and conformity assessment community.