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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
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Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade

Into the 21st Century

International Standards, Conformity Assessment, and U.S. Trade Policy Project Committee

Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1995

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
×

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418

NOTICE: The project resulting in this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council (NRC), whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The members of the expert committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance.

The report has been reviewed by individuals other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee. This committee consists of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

The Policy Division of the NRC consists of the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP), the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, and the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable. The STEP Board reports as a unit of the Policy Division to the NRC Governing Board. This is the body by which the NAS, NAE, and IOM govern the work of the National Research Council.

This study was supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

National Research Council (U.S.). International Standards, Conformity Assessment, and U.S. Trade Policy Project Committee.

Standards, conformity assessment, and trade: into the 21st century / International Standards, Conformity Assessment, and U.S. Trade Policy Project Committee, National Research Council.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-309-05236-X

1. Quality control—Standards—United States. 2. Manufactures—Quality control—Standards—United States. I. Title

TS156.N366 1995

658.5'62'021873—dc20 95-1649

CIP

Copyright 1995 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
×

Members Of The International Standards, Conformity Assessment, And U.S. Trade Policy Project Committee

GARY C. HUFBAUER, Chairman, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow,

Institute for International Economics, Washington, D.C.

DENNIS CHAMOT, Associate Executive Director,

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, National Research Council, Washington, D.C.

LEONARD FRIER, President,

MET Laboratories, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland

STEVEN R. HIX, Chairman and CEO,

Sarif, Inc., Vancouver, Washington

IVOR N. KNIGHT, President,

Knight Communications Consultants, Clarksburg, Maryland

DAVID C. MOWERY, Associate Professor,

Walter A. Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

MICHAEL M. O'MARA, Business Leader,

GE Plastics Cycolac Business, General Electric Company, Washington, West Virginia

GERALD H. RITTERBUSCH, Manager,

Product Safety and Environmental Control, Caterpillar, Inc., Peoria, Illinois

RICHARD J. SCHULTE, Senior Vice President,

Laboratories, American Gas Association, Cleveland, Ohio

SUSAN C. SCHWAB, Director,

Corporate Business Development, Motorola, Inc., Schaumburg, Illinois

MICHAEL B. SMITH, President,

SJS Advanced Strategies, Washington, D.C.

LAWRENCE L. WILLS, IBM Director of Standards,

IBM Corporation, Thornwood, New York

Professional Staff

JOHN S. WILSON, Project Director

JOHN M. GODFREY, Research Associate

PATRICK P. SEVCIK, Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
×

Board On Science, Technology, And Economic Policy

A. MICHAEL SPENCE, Chairman, Dean,

Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Standford, California

JOHN A. ARMSTRONG,

South Salem, New York

JAMES F. GIBBONS, Dean,

School of Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California

GEORGE N. HATSOPOULOS, Chairman and President,

Thermo Electron Corporation, Waltham, Massachusetts

KAREN N. HORN, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,

Bank One Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio

DALE W. JORGENSON, Frederic Eaton Abbe Professor of Economics,

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

RALPH LANDAU,

Listowel Company, New York, New York

JAMES T. LYNN, Senior Advisor,

Lazard Frères and Co., Washington, D.C.

BURTON J. McMURTRY, General Partner,

Technology Venture Investors, Menlo Park, California

RUBEN METTLER, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (retired),

TRW, Inc., Los Angeles, California

MARK B. MYERS, Senior Vice President,

Corporate Research and Technology, Xerox Corporation, Stamford, Connecticut

DONALD E. PETERSEN, Chairman (retired),

Ford Motor Company, Birmingham, Michigan

MICHAEL E. PORTER, Professor,

Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts (until December 31, 1994)

JAMES POTERBA, Professor,

Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

GEORGE M. WHITESIDES, Professor,

Department of Chemistry, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Staff

STEPHEN A. MERRILL, Executive Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
×

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and their use for the general welfare. Under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, the Academy has a working mandate that calls upon it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. The Academy carries out this mandate primarily through the National Research Council, which it jointly administers with the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is President of the NAS.

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) was established in 1964, under the charter of the NAS, as a parallel organization of distinguished engineers, autonomous in its responsibilities for advising the federal government. Dr. Robert M. White is President of the NAE.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) was chartered in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to enlist distinguished members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. In this, the Institute acts under both the Academy's 1863 congressional charter responsibility to be an adviser to the federal government and its own initiative in identifying issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is President of the IOM.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
×

Preface

Product and process standards, as well as methods to ensure conformance to these standards, have important implications for economic progress and public welfare. They also are increasingly important to global commerce. We hope this book will serve as a reference document for public policy. It begins with a discussion of the relationship between standards, product testing, certification, and world trade. The volume then examines the role and responsibilities of U.S. government and industry in the system. Emerging trends in key international policies and programs are also addressed. The report concludes with a set of recommendations both to strengthen the U.S. domestic system and to enhance U.S. interests in overseas markets.

The National Research Council of the National Academies of Science and Engineering was asked by Congress in P.L. 102-245 to study these issues (Appendix B). The Council's Science, Technology, and Economic Policy Board provided the forum through which the study was initiated. A panel of experts provided oversight of the resulting study and the professional staff work which produced the final report.

The report addresses an extremely important set of goals for national policy. These involve removing ineffective and duplicative rules and regulations that govern testing, certification, and laboratory accreditation. Urgent reform is needed in national conformity assessment policy. This will come about, in part, through changes in the mandate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This report also discusses ways in which the United States can promote open trade by removing standards-related barriers to trade and mechanisms to better support U.S. exports in world markets. The U.S. should aggressively

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
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eliminate barriers to global trade embedded in discriminatory foreign policies and practices. At the same time, we should lead the international community in creating a global network of mutual recognition agreements by governments with differing national conformity assessment systems.

Numerous individuals provided advice and assistance throughout the project. Most importantly, John Godfrey and Patrick Sevcik deserve great credit for their outstanding work. The committee served with extraordinary dedication to the success of this effort. Many individuals in government provided assistance to the project, especially those at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Numerous experts in industry and universities also provided briefings, important information, and other assistance in our work. This is particularly true of those affiliated with the American National Standards Institute and other U.S. standards bodies.

Gary Clyde Hufbauer

Chairman

John Sullivan Wilson

Project Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
×
   

Economic Rationale for Consensus Standardization

 

30

   

Voluntary Consensus Standardization Processes

 

33

   

Standards-Developing Organizations

 

36

   

Professional Societies

 

36

   

Industry Associations

 

37

   

Membership Organizations

 

38

   

Consortia

 

39

   

American National Standards Institute

 

39

   

International Standards Development

 

46

   

Government Role in Standardization

 

48

   

National Institute of Standards and Technology

 

52

   

Federal Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards

 

54

   

Public-Private Cooperation

 

57

   

Summary and Conclusions

 

60

3

 

CONFORMITY ASSESSMENT

 

65

   

Conformity Assessment System Framework

 

68

   

Testing and Certification

 

71

   

Product Testing

 

71

   

Product Certification

 

72

   

Private and Public Certification Programs in the United States

 

73

   

Quality System Registration

 

77

   

Accreditation and Recognition

 

80

   

Accreditation Services

 

80

   

Costs of Redundancy in U.S. Accreditation

 

87

   

Government Recognition of Accreditation Services

 

97

   

Summary and Conclusions

 

99

4

 

INTERNATIONAL TRADE

 

103

   

Standards, Trade, and U.S. Economic Progress

 

104

   

Standards and the Economic Benefits of Trade Expansion

 

104

   

Cost of Protection: Non-Tariff Barriers to Trade

 

107

   

Barriers to Trade in Key U.S. Export Markets

 

108

   

Multilateral Trading System: The Uruguay Round

 

112

   

Membership and Expansion of Scope

 

113

   

Coverage of Conformity Assessment

 

118

   

Extension of Coverage to Nongovernmental Organizations

 

119

   

Dispute Settlement

 

120

   

U.S. Trade Policy and Section 301

 

121

   

Overview of U.S. Trade Policy Formation and Implementation

 

121

   

Private-Sector Advisory Mechanisms

 

124

   

Removing Standards-Related Trade Barriers: Section 301

 

124

   

Mutual Recognition Agreements

 

126

   

Background: Product Approval in the European Union

 

126

   

U.S.-European Union MRA Negotiations

 

130

   

Mutual Recognition Agreements: APEC

 

134

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
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Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1995. Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade: Into the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4921.
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Mandated standards used for vehicle airbags, International Organization for Standards (ISO) standards adopted for photographic film, de facto standards for computer software--however they arise, standards play a fundamental role in the global marketplace.

Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade provides a comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of the link between standards, product testing and certification, and U.S. economic performance. The book includes recommendations for streamlining standards development, increasing the efficiency of product testing and certification, and promoting the success of U.S. exports in world markets.

The volume offers a critical examination of organizations involved in standards and identifies the urgent improvements needed in the U.S. system for conformity assessment, in which adherence to standards is assessed and certified. Among other key issues, the book explores the role of government regulation, laboratory accreditation, and the overlapping of multiple quality standards in product development and manufacturing.

In one of the first treatments of this subject, Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade offers a unique and highly valuable analysis of the impact of standards and conformity assessment on global trade.

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