China is the most populous nation in the world, and the fastest growing economy on the globe. It also has vivid memories of historical oppression by foreign powers that are triggered when foreign patents are included in global standards. It's in everyone's best interests to welcome China into global standard setting circles, rather than encourage it to adopt protectionist standards ...
China's long march to accession to the WTO resulted in the loss of its ability to impose protectionist tariffs, and limited its ability to set domestic standards. In response, it has developed one of the most formidable standard setting infrastructures in the world, and is testing its new constraints under the WTO.
China sets its standards strategy centrally, and staffs that strategy with thousands of government employees. In the United States, the government stands aside, and hundreds of standards organizations, manned by corporate employees and volunteers, churn out what they think the market needs. Which approach is "better?" Which country will prevail?
Primitive societies knew enough to brand the unthinkable as unthinkable, to ensure that the unthinkable never happened. We do just the opposite. What right do we have to feel surprised about Red Lake?
For more than twenty-five years, the worlds of nationally accredited standards development organizations and global standard setting consortia have co-existed in the United States with only one-on-one liaison relationships. On March 29, a first-ever face-to-face meeting between ANSI and the consortium world was held in Boston.