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USNC-Hosted Webinar Highlights Importance of Corporate Participation in International Standardization

Nearly 130 participants from across the business and standards community tuned in Monday to a webinar on the strategic importance of corporate participation in international standards and conformance activities. The webinar was hosted by the American National Standards Institute on behalf of the U.S. National Committee (USNC) of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

From energy efficiency and renewable resources to electric vehicles and the smart grid, opportunities for U.S. innovation and economic growth are gaining ground in new and emerging industry sectors. As competing efforts take hold around the globe to advance these high-priority technology areas, U.S. participation at the international table where technical, strategic, and policy decisions are made is increasingly vital.

Following a brief introduction to the USNC and the IEC, moderator Kevin Lippert, manager of codes and standards at Eaton Corporation, discussed how participation in the USNC has enabled Eaton Corporation to be a strategic influencer in policy discussions affecting the industry. And as Eaton Corporation's business grows internationally, IEC standards are becoming ever more important to the business. Being an early influencer in the standardization process has been of great benefit to the company.

Philip Piqueira, global standards leader at GE Industrial Solutions, explained the role of the USNC in representing the interests of U.S. industry before its international counterparts in the standardization arena and in facilitating international trade for the benefit of U.S. industry. Approximately 160 countries belong to the IEC, with more than 10,000 international experts working in the area of electrotechnology standardization. Participation in the USNC enables U.S. professionals to take part in any of the nearly 150 USNC-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Groups (TAG) to the IEC.

Alec McMillan, Rockwell Automation's director of global standards and trade, highlighted how companies can help develop and maintain the technical work of IEC Standards to represent their best interests. According to Mr. McMillan, involvement in IEC standardization and conformity assessment activities is a win for the employee and the company alike as it provides valuable returns on investment. Participation offers U.S. companies market access, technology transfer, early access to information on emerging issues, and technical insight which allows for better business agility. U.S. experts who participate in IEC meetings directly affect the development of international standards. This is one of the reasons Rockwell Automation participates in multiple IEC technical committees.

Corning Incorporated's director of technical standards and standards policy, Jim Matthews, urged U.S. companies to take a proactive strategy to standardization activities, particularly in areas that are important to their business, and added that the more a company commits to standards activities, the greater its rewards. Active participation in both international and regional standards-setting activities provides U.S. electrotechnical industry experts an important opportunity to influence domestic and international policy in such emerging areas as electric vehicles/e-mobility and renewable energies.

View the full webinar presentation here.

For further details about the webinar or about joining the USNC, contact Charlie Zegers, USNC/IEC General Secretary (212.642.4965; [email protected]) or Tony Zertuche, USNC/IEC Deputy General Secretary (212.642.4892; [email protected]).


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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