New Standards Portal Focuses on U.S.-China Trade
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in cooperation with the Standardization Administration of China (SAC), announced the launch of a Standards Portal (www.StandardsPortal.org) that will facilitate the trade of goods and services between the United States and China. Surveys conducted by the U.S.-China Business Council in 2005 and 2006 show that standardization issues rank sixth among the top 10 concerns of U.S. companies doing business in China. When specified by customers or embodied in regulations, compliance with standards can be a prerequisite for gaining access to foreign markets.
"The Standards Portal demonstrates a commitment by our three organizations to foster cross-border trade between the United States and China and to promote the ongoing importance of trade development through mutual information exchange and cooperation," said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI President and CEO.
Designed primarily for industry stakeholders and policy officials, the Standards Portal contains dual-language (Mandarin and English) educational materials on the structure, history and operation of the United States and Chinese standards systems; a database of 2,000 standards (1,000 from each nation) considered vital to successful trade between the two nations; and access to nearly 300,000 other national, regional and international standards and guidelines. Funding for the project was provided by a matching grant from NIST, a non-regulatory agency within the U.S. Commerce Department's Technology Administration. "This resource supports one of the Commerce Department's key trade initiatives, helping U.S. exporters to familiarize themselves with Chinese technical requirements and commonly used standards, and to gain market access to one of the world's fastest growing economies," explains NIST Director William Jeffrey.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also played an active role in the Web site's development, identifying more than one third of the U.S. standards that are now referenced in the "Standards and Regulations" resource directory.
CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy A. Nord applauded the launch of the portal and predicted that it will help manufacturers understand the standards used in the United States and China. "Common consumer products manufactured in China, such as apparel, toys and electronic equipment, account for a significant portion of U.S. imports," said Nord. "The extensive resources provided in the portal will help Chinese manufacturers exporting to the U.S. market ensure that their products meet stringent U.S. regulations and standards for safety."
Products from China and Hong Kong account for 44% of the total consumer recalls issued by the Commission. ANSI, in partnership with SAC, will update and enrich the information according to the interest of the Web site's users and other stakeholders.