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United States Standards


The United States Standards Strategy (USSS) serves as a statement of purpose and ideals resulting from a reexamination of the principles and strategy that guide how the United States develops standards and participates in the international standards-setting process. It provides a vision for the future of the U.S. standards system to support U.S. competitiveness, innovation, health and safety, and global trade.

See the USSS' sister document, the United States Conformity Assessment Principles (USCAP).


The 2020 edition of the United States Standards Strategy (USSS) and the consolidated response to comments received during the document’s public comment period were unanimously approved by the ANSI Board of Directors at its year-end meeting on December 9, 2020.

First published in 2000 as the National Standards Strategy for the United States (NSS), the USSS is updated every five years to assure that it continues to meet the needs of diverse U.S. interests and that it reflects technological advancements, industry growth areas, national and international priorities, and updates to relevant U.S. government policy. The USSS details 12 strategic initiatives that can be implemented by diverse stakeholders to meet their national and individual organizational objectives.

The 2020 review and update process, led by ANSI, incorporated the input of a diverse group of constituents representing stakeholders in industry, government, standards developing organizations (SDOs), consortia, consumer groups, and academia. A task force – comprised of volunteers and members of ANSI's Board representing SDOs, government, industry, and consortia – guided ANSI staff in managing the 2020 update.

All participants are committed to developing and maintaining the USSS in a way that is open, balanced, and transparent. The result is a document that represents the vision of a broad cross-section of standards stakeholders and that reflects the diversity of the U.S. standardization system itself.

United States Standards Strategy cover.
A row of four businesspeople sitting at a conference table clapping.

History & Background

The first NSS affirmed that the U.S. is committed to a sector-based approach to voluntary standardization activities, both domestically and globally. It established a standardization framework that was built upon the traditional strengths of the U.S. system — such as consensus, openness, and transparency — while giving additional emphasis to speed, relevance, and meeting the needs of public-interest constituencies. 

As part of an update in 2005, the name of the document was changed to the United States Standards Strategy (USSS), recognizing globalization and the need for standards designed to meet stakeholder needs irrespective of national borders. The name also reflects a standardization environment that incorporates new types of standards development activities, more flexible approaches, and new structures. The USSS was approved by ANSI’s Board of Directors in 2005, and was updated and re-approved in 2010, 2015, and 2020. The next update is expected in 2025.


Staff Contact

Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]