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NIST Seeks Information on Chinese Participation in the International Standards Development Process

Photo shows map of China.
Credit: Shutterstock/JenJIvary

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a Request for Information on People’s Republic of China (PRC) policies and influence in the development of international standards for emerging technologies.

“We hope to hear from many U.S. organizations about their experiences with the international standards development process,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “U.S. participation in this process is extremely important for ensuring our products are competitive around the world. We want to help ensure its continued success, even in a changing international environment.”

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed into law in January 2021 directed NIST to support a study that would make recommendations with respect to “the effect of the policies of the People’s Republic of China and coordination among industrial entities within the People’s Republic of China on international bodies engaged in developing and setting international standards for emerging technologies.”

In June 2021, NIST awarded a contract to Makwa Global LLC to conduct the study. The RFI is an opportunity for standards development stakeholders, including those from various industries, to provide their input for the study on any relevant issues, including recommendations on how the U.S. might mitigate any undue influence of the PRC and bolster U.S. public and private sector participation in international standards-setting bodies.

Standards provide a common language that facilitates trade, accelerates innovation and enables people to work together toward greater common goals that cut across disciplines and borders. NIST supports the development of standards by identifying areas where they are needed, convening stakeholders and providing technical and scientific guidance and expertise to help stakeholder groups reach a consensus. The report to Congress from Makwa Global is due by January 2023.

The RFI can be found in the Federal Register. Comments are due by 5 p.m. Eastern time on Dec. 6, 2021, and will be posted to

Released November 4, 2021, Updated February 22, 2023