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Title: "Standards and Competitiveness - Coordinating for Results"
Author: U.S Department of Commerce
Publication Date: May 1 2004
Free/Fee: Free Access
Reads: 13530
Abstract: In March 2003, Commerce Secretary Donald Evans announced the Department of Commerce (DOC) Standards Initiative in response to industry concerns that issues relating to standards and conformity assessment to those standards are among the greatest barriers to expanding exports.1 The Department also launched its Manufacturing Initiative in the same month to help address the significant competitive challenges facing American manufacturing. U.S. manufacturers produce products that require standards, and, therefore, a greater understanding and acceptance of standards used by these manufacturers should increase market access and expand export markets for U.S. companies. Standards are a critical issue for manufacturing competitiveness in global markets, as they can facilitate international trade, or they may impede access to foreign markets. Many in U.S. industries view standards as the principal non-tariff barriers in markets around the world. DOC estimates that standards issues impact 80 percent of world commodity trade. The Department carries out a wide range of activities in support of the private sector on standards issues, including investigation of company/sector-specific concerns, training, grant funding for qualified private-sector constituents, outreach to industry, technical contributions, and trade negotiations, both multilateral and bilateral.
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