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International Information Exchange: An ASTM Member in China

With China’s entry into the World trade organization and full permanent trade relations with the United States, many Chinese companies are looking for assistance in getting their products approved for export around the globe. To assist various industries for this entry, several American professionals including ASTM International member Robert M. Holcombe, vice chairman of ASTM Committee D13 on Textiles, were invited to present a series of lectures in various Chinese cities. Holcombe is the laboratory director for Safety Components International and has been a participating member of D13 since 1971. He also serves as a lead assessor for the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation and does quality systems consulting.

The trip was sponsored by Washington Laboratories and U.S. Conformity Consultants, who have established consulting services through the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and the China Chamber of International Commerce. The lectures were presented in six different cities and averaged 120 in attendance. Those attending were from each of the Chinese provinces, Mongolia, and Vietnam.

Holcombe’s presentation was titled “Textile Testing and Certification for U.S. and World Markets.” The outline of his lecture included product origin and identification labeling, care labeling, textile product variables testing, product certification, use of accredited laboratories, and the use of American consensus documents and test methods.

Making Chinese businesspeople aware of American testing requirements and market expectations for textiles is vital since they are built around U.S. test methods, many of them D13 methods. The ASTM D13 methods have been used as the foundation for mechanical testing of yarns, fabrics, and finished garments. The Chinese are extremely interested in using U.S. consensus methods. //

Copyright 2002, ASTM

(left) Robert M. Holcombe with Madam Zhang Yi Xiang, vice governor of Henan Province, Zhengzhou, China, during his visit to China to lecture on U.S. certification procedures and voluntary consensus standards for textiles.