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ANSI White Paper Examines Key Issues Impacting Global Standardization and Conformance

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) International Policy Committee (IPC) published today a white paper examining standards and conformance issues impacting the ability of U.S. industry to conduct global trade.

According to the paper, Key Issues Impacting Global Standardization and Conformance: Today and Tomorrow, the expansion of global trade is increasingly important to the growth of the U.S. economy and to the continued revitalization of the American workforce. As the technical underpinning of many products and services, standards play a critical role in removing barriers to trade, enforcing free trade agreements, and expanding foreign markets for U.S. products, services, and personnel.

"One in every five American factory workers owes his or her job to exports, which have long been a source of strength in the U.S. economy. U.S. exports of manufactured goods alone support about 6.8 million jobs. Exports contribute, on average, an additional 18 percent to workers' earnings in the U.S. manufacturing sector."

The paper contends that U.S. companies that do business abroad are exposed to - and typically adopt - internationally accepted standards and conformity assessment practices, which in turn enable them to compete more effectively in the global marketplace. Agreed-upon standards and conformance activities form the basis of dynamic, global strategic partnerships that can spur economic growth, development, and job creation.

Particularly in emerging technology areas - including smart grid, healthcare informatics, energy efficiency, nanotechnology, and cybersecurity - developing and developed economies alike are playing an increasingly significant role in standardization activities. According to the white paper, these priority areas require significant cross-sectoral collaboration, and new models of standards development must evolve to support such collaboration. The challenge for today and into the future is to bring diverse parties from various sectors and organizations together to collaborate and develop the needed deliverables.

"According to World Bank data, more than 95% of the world's consumers live outside of the United States. U.S. firms that do business abroad are exposed to - and typically adopt - internationally accepted standards and conformity assessment practices, which allow them to effectively compete in the global marketplace."

"By employing a sector-based approach, the U.S. is uniquely positioned to play a critical role in the development of internationally accepted standards," said David Miller, chair of the ANSI IPC and director of standards at the American Petroleum Institute (API). "But timely stakeholder involvement, both public and private, is key to successful outcomes in this increasingly complex environment."

Stressing the vital importance of U.S. involvement in developing globally relevant, responsive standards, the ANSI IPC white paper reaffirmed the U.S. standardization system's support of the multiple-path approach to standardization. According to the paper, many standards developing organizations and consortia operate on the international stage. What matters is that standards are developed in accordance with the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement - openness, balance, consensus, and due process - and include all other elements that are the hallmarks of the strongest and most effective standards and conformance solutions.

Key Issues Impacting Global Standardization and Conformance: Today and Tomorrow is available here and may be freely shared.

The white paper was approved by the ANSI's International Policy Committee (IPC). The IPC is responsible for the development of ANSI strategic directions and policies related to international and regional standardization, as well as the general coordination and oversight of ANSI's implementation of the relevant initiatives of the United States Standards Strategy (USSS).


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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