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ASTM International testifies during congressional review of standards.

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March 7, 2012 - Standards experts from ASTM International testified February 29 before committee of U.S. Congress during review of effectiveness of U.S. standards system. Representing ASTM on witnesses panel, James L. Seay described benefits of public and private collaboration in development of voluntary consensus standards. He also recommended that countries/regions strive to embrace international standards criteria established by WTO, and recognize flexibility to chose from international standards portfolio.

ASTM International Informs Congressional Review of Standards

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ASTM International
100 Barr Harbor Dr., Box C700
West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959

Press release date: March 2, 2012

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.-Leading standards experts from ASTM International testified Feb. 29 before a committee of the U.S. Congress during a review of the effectiveness of the U.S. standards system.

James L. Seay, chairman of ASTM Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices and owner of the high tech amusement ride designer and supplier Premier Rides, Baltimore, Md., represented ASTM International on the panel of witnesses and described the many beneficial attributes of public and private collaboration in the development of voluntary consensus standards. As the owner of an innovative small business, he discussed ASTM's ability to provide an open and transparent forum "where the voice and expertise of all stakeholders - including those from small businesses and consumer groups - contribute directly to the development of international standards that are grounded in technical quality and market relevance."

As the Congressional discussion turned to the standards policies of the United States and its global trade partners, Seay recommended that countries and regions strive to embrace the international standards criteria established by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and recognize the flexibility to chose from a broad portfolio of international standards that includes those of ASTM International. "For the amusement industry and others, ASTM standards are utilized around the world in support of regulatory and business objectives because they meet WTO criteria, have multinational involvement in their development, and they have global reach in their application. Barriers to their acceptance often results in expensive and time consuming efforts to develop duplicative and potentially conflicting standards," concluded Seay.

Mary H. Saunders, director of the Standards Coordination Office of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), also testified at the hearing and provided important insight into the efforts of the federal government to support the effectiveness of the U.S. standards system and advance the competitiveness of U.S. industry. ASTM International is fortunate to count more than 150 NIST scientists in the standards development initiatives of ASTM technical committees and Ms. Saunders currently serves on the ASTM board of directors.

More information concerning the Feb. 29, 2012, hearing is available at the Web page of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology at:

ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency.

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