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ANSI Joint Member Forum/Evolving Standardization Landscape Summit (World Standards Week)

Remarks as prepared.

Thank you for inviting me here today. And I want to thank ANSI and the members of the U.S. standardization community for your commitment to standards.

I want to start by saying something obvious. I love our mission at NIST — to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness — and how it supports the private sector-led standards system in the United States.

It is all about ensuring our nation’s economic and national security in the context of today’s global economy.

I spent over 30 years of my career at NIST, went to academia for a few years, and now returned as director.

It is the NIST mission — during a critical time for the United States, along with the incredibly dedicated people that carry out the mission — that brought me back into the fold.

Because ensuring U.S. leadership in internationals standards development is a top priority for me in my role as both the director of NIST and the under secretary of commerce for standards and technology. 

At NIST, we develop all different kinds of standards — physical reference materials used to validate and benchmark measurements made — both nationally and all over the world. Some recent examples are reference materials for COVID-19 and monkeypox — along with all types of reference artifacts — like the ones used for measuring the strength of steel or a gallon of gas.

But NIST also works to support the development of documentary standards for manufacturing quality, health and safety, and global interoperability. These are just a few examples — and they are a top priority for NIST.

All that being said — I cannot overstate the importance of coordination and cooperation with the private sector on standards development. It is one of the main reasons I am here with you today.

Let me state first and foremost — the private sector-led approach to standards development is vital to the nation’s technology and innovation leadership, which ensures our economic and national security.

And in light of the current global competition landscape, it is also very clear — that there is a national need to promote and quicken the development of emerging technology.

U.S. Government National Standards Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technology

As some of you may know, the National Security Council has been developing a “U.S. Government National Standards Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technology.”

This strategy is meant to complement and align with ANSI’s “United States Standards Strategy.”

The NSC strategy is part of a broader emphasis on U.S. competitiveness and innovation. It intends to renew and strengthen the U.S. government approach — to bolster and support the private sector and to ensure U.S. leadership in international standards development. 

The need for a U.S. government strategy is motivated by a few factors that cannot be ignored — (1) we face new challenges to U.S. competitiveness; (2) the pace of technology development is rapidly increasing; and (3) although we have a leading role in many areas of standards development — we cannot rest on our laurels.

As you know, standards strategies have been released by both China and the European Union making clear the importance of standards to economic competitiveness. These strategies also make clear how our competitors would like to shape the landscape to their advantage.

The U.S. Government National Standards Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technology presents a strategic and proactive vision that builds on what has made the U.S. approach to standards so successful over the last several decades — and ensures that we are effectively positioned to address some of the emergent challenges in international standards development.

Our system has resulted in international standards that are (1) technically sound; (2) favorable to U.S. stakeholders; and (3) ensure access to global markets. The U.S. economy has benefited significantly from this approach.

In recent years, China has dramatically increased its international standards development activity — and has clearly stated a desire for its companies to set global standards, thus leading them to market dominance.

So, it is essential that we, the U.S. private and public sectors, remain fully engaged in international standards development — promoting our technical solutions, particularly in critical and emerging technology — and working closely with likeminded partners and allies.

I also want to stress, that we should not aim to exclude any one country from the international standards system. This is very a very important point. It is also important that our like-minded partners and allies share this vision — and do not exclude our private sector stakeholders from their respective systems.

The United States, and our international partners must continue to uphold and ensure that the integrity of international standards development, and the integrity of SDOs, is not compromised.

We maintain that standards should always be developed in accordance with the WTO’s Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee decision that articulates principles of transparency, openness, impartiality and consensus, effectiveness and relevance, and coherence.

And as we celebrate World Standards Week here in the United States, we can also celebrate new U.S. and EU leadership in the ITU — with the election of Doreen Bogden Martin as ITU secretary general-elect and Mr. Tomas Lamanauskas from Lithuania as ITU deputy secretary general-elect.

Also, we celebrate Dr. Cho Sung-hwan of the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards as the new ISO president-elect.

We at NIST thank ANSI, the U.S. Department of State, and everyone in the private and public sector for their hard work and support of these new standards leaders.

Working With ANSI and the Private Sector

I am hopeful that the “U.S. Government National Standards Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technology” is released this fall.

And with its release, NIST will lead execution of the strategy.

As the under secretary of commerce for standards and technology, my team will coordinate across the U.S. Department of Commerce and the interagency to strengthen our standards development efforts — and ensure that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 

In NIST tradition, this implementation will be accomplished with private sector stakeholder engagement as a core value.

We expect the ANSI community to work alongside NIST as we move forward together in reinvigorating U.S. leadership and engagement in standards.

NIST is ready to go — working together with all of you — and our international partners.

We are hoping to launch several events, such as roundtables, across technology areas. Of course, we will work closely with ANSI, SDOs and industry leaders to conduct these events.

By taking actions, we will support both ANSI’s National Standards Strategy and the U.S. Government National Standards Strategy for CET.

We will strengthen and enhance U.S. government leadership alongside the private sector. Our collaborative engagement in international standards development is crucial to our collective success.

I welcome input from all members of the ANSI Federation. Your input will inform our work and drive U.S. technology and innovation leadership. Together, we must move quickly to show the world that we are serious about preserving our leading role in this challenging landscape.

What NIST Is Doing

Switching gears, I would like to say a few words about CHIPS — and what NIST is doing.

Not only does NIST have an exciting new opportunity to shape U.S. leadership in advanced semiconductors and microelectronics packaging, the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 reinforces the critical nature of NIST’s leadership in research, measurement science, and standards engagement to support U.S. industry.

Our expertise and our reputation for rigor, integrity and excellence are qualities reflected in our science — but also in the way we do business. CHIPS comes with real opportunities for our country.

This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. There are two parts of the CHIPS program — the $39 billion incentives program and the $11 billion R&D program. 

Adding $50 billion to an agency with a budget of about $1.2 billion will require a lot of attention from staff and leadership across NIST for the next several years. But we will have a lot of engagement and support, particularly in the incentives piece, from DOC.

The new CHIPS Program Office director, Michael Schmidt, was onboarded last month and is hitting the ground running. He comes to us from the Treasury.

The CHIPS R&D director is our own Eric Lin — director of the Material Measurement Laboratory. He will serve in an acting capacity, standing up the R&D program during a 120-day sprint.

Our vision for this office is to build an integrated, research and development ecosystem for semiconductors that ensures U.S. leadership in innovation and economic competitiveness.

To that end — over the past year, teams at both the Department of Commerce and NIST have done a great deal of planning to prepare for implementation of the CHIPS Act.

We conducted a significant amount of stakeholder outreach and recently released two reports on the results of those efforts.

One report summarizes the more than 200 unique responses received to a January Request for Information (RFI) on how these programs should be implemented.

We also conducted direct industry engagement and held two public workshops with more than 800 participants, as well as industry roundtables. We learned what measurement needs are most important to the industry and how to address those needs in a timely manner.

And in the first week of September, the department published a Strategy for CHIPS that outlines the grand vision for the entire program.

These reports and additional information can be found on

Finally, the CHIPS And Science Act of 2022 also reauthorizes NIST in a section titled “NIST for the Future.”

It calls for significant increases to NIST programs. It codifies our role in bioscience, cybersecurity, greenhouse gas measurement, advanced communications, international standards development and more.

Throughout CHIPS, NIST is called on to work with the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, and other departments and agencies in areas beyond semiconductors.

It will help us expand our work into many exciting new areas, and lead to discoveries we have not yet imagined.

However — even before the passage of CHIPS, we planned to enhance our engagement with private sector stakeholders on key standards technical and policy issues — as we continue to fulfill our standards coordination mission laid out in the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act. 

As mentioned earlier, we plan to launch a series of roundtables, webinars and information sessions. For many of these events we will work together with ANSI and its members — ensuring standards are developed in ways that are technically sound, in an open process, and with consensus-based decision making.

There is much more work to be done, but we are at an exciting time! I look forward to seeing the great things we will accomplish together through this public-private partnership.

Thank you again for the opportunity to speak with you today.

Created January 23, 2023