Representatives from industry; federal agencies; and standards, testing and certification organizations are invited to join a U.S. delegation for a series of meetings with the Association of South East Asia Nations, known as ASEAN. The meetings will be held with government and private-sector entities in Singapore; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Bangkok, Thailand, during the week of July 15, 1996, to explore opportunities in standards-related areas that can enhance U.S. trade with the ASEAN countries.
The meetings are being planned by the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration in cooperation with the department's National Institute of Standards and Technology and the American National Standards Institute, a private non-profit membership organization that coordinates voluntary standards activities in the United States.
The U.S. delegation will be led by Stanley I. Warshaw of NIST, currently serving as senior policy advisor for Standards and Technology at the department's International Trade Administration.
The meetings, to be conducted under the auspices of the U.S./ASEAN Alliance for Mutual Growth, are designed to initiate a dialog on standards, testing and certification issues with the United States' fourth largest export market. The ASEAN member countries are Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Warshaw said, "As the ASEAN members move forward with their trade and market liberalization initiatives, it is important for U.S. business that harmonized or internationally based standards and conformity assessment practices exist in this important market."
Global and regional trade agreements have done much to reduce tariff trade barriers. The chief executive officers of more than 100 European and North American corporations at the November 1995 Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue cited non-tariff trade barriers associated with standards and conformity assessment (related to product testing, certification and quality assurance) as the most important trade issue remaining in many parts of the world, Warshaw said.
The U.S. delegation also will be invited to attend the 8th ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality in Malaysia, July 23-24, 1996, following the preceding week's ASEAN meetings, under the Alliance for Mutual Growth. The ACCSQ currently oversees cooperative activities with Japan-MITI and the European Commission for cooperative efforts in standards, testing and certification. Warshaw noted that it is also important for the U.S. to develop a dialogue with ACCSQ for cooperation on standards-related matters.
Parties interested in joining the U.S. delegation should immediately contact either of the following coordinators:
All delegates to the ASEAN meetings will be responsible for their individual expenses, and each delegate will be charged an administrative support fee of $500 by the Commerce Department.
As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.