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July 'Summit' Aims for U.S. Success in Global Standards

From NIST Tech Beat: May 25, 2006

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Contact: Mark Bello
(301) 975-3776

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host a national Options for Action Summit to devise ways to strengthen U.S. efforts that help developing nations build their economies and, in tandem, foster their adoption of standards that ensure fair market access for U.S. exports.

Co-sponsored by NIST and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the conference is open to representatives of industry, standards organizations and government. It will be held July 18-19, 2006, at the NIST campus in Gaithersburg, Md.

First-day sessions will include trading partners’ assessments of U.S. standards-setting activities, provided by government or industry representatives from China, Egypt, the European Union, Japan and Mexico. Panelists will give their views on how the United States has performed in efforts to advance a global standards agenda.

The opening session will review the U.S. Standards Strategy, the National Export Strategy and the Commerce Department’s Standards and Competitiveness Initiative. Speakers also will survey relevant outreach, education, and technical assistance efforts sponsored by federal agencies and by U.S. businesses and trade organizations.

Besides NIST and ANSI, other organizations invited to participate in conference sessions include the National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, International Trade Administration and World Bank.

Breakout sessions will concentrate on current U.S. outreach and capacity-building initiatives in specific regions.  Discussions will focus on identifying best practices, “do’s and don’t’s,” and activities that deserve more attention. These sessions will yield recommendations for steps intended to coordinate and improve standards harmonization, ensure market access for U.S. goods and services, and increase the effectiveness of capacity building and technical assistance efforts. The objective is to achieve consensus on a consolidated set of “options for action.”

The registration deadline is July 7. To register or for more information on the Options for Action Summit, go to www.ansi.org/events.