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U.S. Unveils New “Standards Alliance” at World Trade Organization

11/30/2012 - 4:24pm

Standards Alliance AnnouncementJulia Doherty of USTR and Virginia Brown of USAID at the announcement of the Standards Alliance, a new U.S. sponsored assistance facility.

Geneva, Switzerland – This week, Virginia Brown, Director of USAID's Office of Trade and Regulatory Reform, announced a new U.S.-sponsored assistance facility called the “Standards Alliance” to help build capacity among developing countries to improve implementation of the Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement (TBT). Ms. Brown is in Geneva as part of the U.S. Delegation to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade, led by Senior Director for Technical Barriers to Trade Julia Doherty from the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

Standards and technical regulations are critical to global trade, and play an essential role in the Obama Administration’s strategy to increase U.S. exports. U.S. companies benefit when the standards and regulations adopted by developing countries better align with global norms and practices, as this enables U.S. producers to make one product and export it to many countries.

The new Standards Alliance will also help developing countries adopt globally recognized standards and norms for products, and will assist those countries in clarifying and streamlining their regulatory processes for products. This will reduce the costs and bureaucratic hurdles associated with exporting for U.S. producers, while enabling developing countries to improve the quality and safety of the products they export abroad.