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This is a comment on Jim Thomas’ article, “Time to Take Stock,” which was recently copied in the SAE Navigator.

The positions taken in ISO and the CEN “Agreement” and underpinned by Mr. M.A. Smith’s 1995 paper only serve to confirm a concern that I have had from the early 1990s and the rise of ISO in U.S. perceptions.

From my earliest encounter with ISO, which dated to 1990, I have been concerned that it would be used by European governments to create a wedge to be driven between U.S. industry—in my case, airframe manufacture—and our potential international customers. That is to say that ISO would be so manipulated as to cast customer doubts on U.S. standards because, after all, they are not developed by the ISO “process.” It has taken a while for this concern to become manifest, but now it has surfaced with all of its ugly implications.

Our international trade representatives must take the strongest possible position in Geneva to make clear that the United States will not acquiesce in this stealth trade war abetted by the Geneva secretariat.

Bartley P. Osborne, Jr.
Chairman, SAE Aerospace Council
Vice President, Engineering (Ret’d.)
Lockheed Martin Aeronautical
Systems, Co.

An Evolving Interest

Re: The November 2000 issue of SN.

Other than “Plain Talk for a New Generation,” the article on geosynthetics, plus one or two other minor subjects, this issue presented a whole new genre of the future ASTM’s world and base of membership/customers. You did a masterful job of editorially subtly transitioning the scope of ASTM’s traditional interests into entirely new spheres of applications. Rest assured this is not a complaint or criticism by any stretch of the words, but simply acknowledging the sober reality that hit me when I read through this issue as never before, that ASTM is changing, as it absolutely must, to be relevant to whatever public/private sectors can benefit from the process. Congratulations!

John A. Millane
Tinius Olsen Testing Machine Company
Willow Grove, Pa.
Former ASTM Chairman of the Board

Copyright 2001, ASTM