standards developing activities (such as those of the European Union); and promotion of mutual acceptance among trading partners of product test results, certifications, and other conformity assessment measures. In the context of the new World Trade Organization, progress continues in these and related areas. A current focal point of U.S. trade policy, discussed in Chapter 4, is the negotiation of agreements with our trading partners for mutual recognition of conformity assessment procedures. Chapter 4 assesses the potential utility and feasibility of such agreements for realizing the full benefit of trade enhancement provisions of the Uruguay Round, as well as forestalling the growth of trade barriers related to conformity assessment systems worldwide.

The emergence of significant new markets for U.S. products—particularly in Asia and Latin America—offers great potential for improvements in U.S. export performance. Many of the countries and regional trading groups that comprise these markets do not yet have well-developed systems for implementing standards or assessing conformity. In many of these markets, this condition is characteristic of the regulatory, public procurement, and private industry sectors alike. A key concern of this report is to examine how the United States can support efforts in developing markets to design and implement modern, open standards systems. Chapter 4 assesses the potential for enhancing U.S. exports and global trade through providing developing countries with appropriate technical assistance regarding implementation of standards and conformity assessment regimes.



See Maureen Breitenberg, The ABC's of Standards-Related Activities in the United States. For additional examples, see ASTM, ASTM and Voluntary Consensus Standards (Philadelphia, PA.:ASTM, undated); and Carl Cargill, Information Technology Standardization: Theory, Process, and Organizations.


Maureen Breitenberg, The ABC's of Certification Activities in the United States, 5.


Maureen Breitenberg, More Questions and Answers on the ISO 9000 Standard Series and Related Issues, 1.


See Breitenberg, The ABC's of Standards-Related Activities in the United States, 3-5; Charles P. Kindleberger, Standards as Public, Collective and Private Goods, 1983, 378; and U.S Congress, (OTA), Global Standards: Building Blocks for the Future, 5-6.


Charles P. Kindleberger, Standards as Public, Collective and Private Goods, 384-385.


The enormous number of possible configurations of microcomputer hardware and software components produces strong incentives for both users and producers to reduce variety through standards. See Michael Hergert, Technical Standards and Competition in the Microcomputer Industry.


David Hemenway, Industrywide Voluntary Product Standards, 9-10.


For a discussion of business use of standards as a mechanism for adopting externally developed technologies, see Diego Betancourt, Strategic Standardization Management: A Strategic Macroprocess Approach to the New Paradigm in the Competitive Business Use of Standardization.


See American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 1993 Annual Report, 8; and Betancourt, Strategic Standardization Management.


Breitenberg, The ABC's of Standards-Related Activities in the United States, 3; and OTA, Global Standards, 42.

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