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Standards and Trade …. Outline. ASTM International Overview US Standards System US Government’s Role World Trade Organization. ASTM International – An Overview. Organized in 1898 The largest U.S.-based standards developer Non-governmental, not-for-profit organization.

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Presentation Transcript
  • ASTM International Overview
  • US Standards System
  • US Government’s Role
  • World Trade Organization
astm international an overview
ASTM International – An Overview
  • Organized in 1898
  • The largest U.S.-based standards developer
  • Non-governmental, not-for-profit organization
what is a standard
What is a Standard?
  • Technical document developed by consensus
astm international standards development process
ASTM International Standards Development Process
  • Provides a management system for the development of voluntary, consensus standards
  • Does not provide certification, testing or

accreditation services

astm technical committees
ASTM Technical Committees
  • 140 technical committees
    • Consumer Products
    • Steel
    • Petroleum
    • Construction/Building Plastics
    • Paint
    • Textiles
    • Environmental
    • Medical Devices
    • Many, many more
global use and application
Global Use and Application
  • Over 75 nations utilize ASTM standards in their regulations or as the basis of their national standards
    • China – 454
    • Colombia – 806
    • Egypt – 217
    • South Africa - 348
u s standardization in general
U.S. Standardization in General
  • No single organization, public or private, controls the U.S. standards development system
  • In the U.S. there are multiple methods of standards development (600 developers)
  • The system is coordinated - publicly and privately
  • The U.S. system is unregulated, market-oriented and diverse
ansi and the u s standards strategy
ANSI and the U.S. Standards Strategy
  • Developed first in 2000 and revised in 2005
  • Facilitated by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
  • Common vision for national and international standardization
conformity assessment
Conformity Assessment
  • Any activity to determine, directly or indirectly, that a process, product, or service meets relevant standards and fulfills relevant requirements
    • i.e. Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
    • Europe – “Notified Body”
u s federal regulation
U.S. Federal Regulation
  • The U.S. Administrative Procedure Act allows executive branch government agencies to develop detailed rules and regulations through a public "rulemaking" process where the public is allowed to comment. After a period of time, the rules and regulations are usually published in the Federal Register.
support and mandate for government participation
Support and Mandate for Government Participation
  • “…all Federal agencies and departments shall use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies, using such technical standards as a means to carry out policy objectives or activities determined by the agencies and departments….and shall, when such participation is in the public interest…participate with such bodies in the development of technical standards.”
      • P.L. 104-113 National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA)
us government and trade
US Government and Trade

ITA’s Standards and

Competitiveness Report

USTR Trade


free trade agreements
Free Trade Agreements
  • Eliminate tariffs, quotas and preferences on most (if not all) goods between trade partners
  • Help level the international playing field and encourage foreign governments to adopt open and transparent rulemaking procedures, as well as non- discriminatory laws and regulations
rules of trade
Rules of Trade
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
    • Established in 1995 to deal with the rules of trade between nations at a global or near-global level.
  • Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT)
    • Prohibits use of regulations, standards, and conformity assessment (technical measures) as barriers to trade
standards as key components of trade17
Standards as Key Components of Trade
  • TBT Inquiry Point
    • Each WTO member is required to report to the WTO Secretariat in Geneva, proposed central government regulations and provide a 60 day comment period to allow other WTO members to review and comment on the proposal.
    • National Center for Standards and Certification Information
barriers to trade disputes
Barriers to Trade Disputes

The WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), and in particular its Appellate Body, have made it very difficult for WTO Members to use technical regulations (TBT Agreement) and health regulations (SPS Agreement) as a form of disguised protectionism, and several Members have taken advantage of the DSB for this purpose.

summary conclusion
  • Standards are key documents for trade
  • ASTM standards are international standards that are used globally
  • The WTO defines the principles of international standards
  • ASTM is committed to the concept of multiple paths to international standards
contact information
Jim Olshefsky

Director, External Relations

[email protected]

Kevin Cummins

Director, Public Policy and International Trade

[email protected]

Contact Information