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A Focus on U.S.-EU Trade at ANSI-ESO Joint Presidents Group Meeting

On October 11, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), in cooperation with the European Standards Organizations (ESOs), convened the ANSI-ESO Joint Presidents Group (JPG) meeting at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to continue a more than twenty-year dialogue on standards and conformity assessment in support of U.S.-EU trade.

The event brought together the ESOs comprised of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), as well as representatives from U.S. government agencies and standards developing organizations, the European Commission (EC) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). In total, nearly fifty individuals representing the private and public sectors were in attendance.

Over the past twenty years, these gatherings have evolved to their current "four-sided table" format, which includes ANSI (both private and public sector representatives), the ESOs, the EC, and EFTA.

"For more than twenty years, these meetings have promoted mutual transparency, engaged both the public and private sectors, and offered opportunities to address policy issues that impact both the U.S. and Europe," said ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia. "To me, it is clear that our transatlantic trade partnership is more important now than ever as we seek out standards-based solutions to the challenges that face us all."

Following an overview of the U.S. standardization system and the United States Standards Strategy (USSS), participants discussed A strategic vision for European standards - a document released by the European Commission in June to accelerate, expand, and modernize European standardization activities. [see related news item] Mary Saunders of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provided an update on the work of the National Science and Technology Council's Subcommittee on Standards, which seeks to engage government agencies on standards policy issues and articulate the U.S. model of public-private cooperation in standards setting to domestic and international audiences. Attendees also discussed the status of EU-U.S. cooperation on standards for specific industries, including childcare products, window blinds, energy management, and electric vehicles.

In a session on stakeholder participation in standards, David Miller of the American Petroleum Institute and Ernst-Peter Ziethen of CEN exchanged U.S. and European perspectives on various challenges at play, including corporate restructuring, the economic climate, and various stakeholder pressures. Closing out the day's discussions, Elena Santiago of the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre and Deborah Prince of Underwriters Laboratories shared insights on how to effectively build standardization content into educational curricula.

Co-chaired by Ileana Martinez of NIST and David Dossett of CENELEC, the ANSI-ESO JPG meeting was hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The ANSI-ESO JPG meeting was held in conjunction with World Standards Week 2011, which included a special ANSI-ESO Conference: Transatlantic Standardization Partnerships on E-Mobility/Electric Vehicles, Energy, and Security. [see related news item]

The next meeting of the ANSI-ESO JPG will take place in Europe within the next 12-18 months.

The agenda and final presentations from the ANSI-ESO-JPG meeting are available here.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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