|USTR Communiqué to WTO
Nanotech Meeting in Japan
2007 ASTM Board Candidates
ASTM Staff Participates in US DOC Training
ASTM International Donates to Iraqi Reconstruction Effort
State Laws Bolster Use of Fire Safe Cigarette Method
IUP/ASTM International Internship
Staff Service Awards
USTR Rejects Assertions that WTO TBT Agreement Designates Specific International SDOs
In a recent communiqué to the director-general of the World Trade Organization, the U.S. Trade Representative sought to counter any confusion or misperceptions concerning the implementation and obligations of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, or TBT Agreement, with regard to international standards development.
The USTR’s action flatly rejects assertions that standards developed by specific international standards-setting bodies are recognized by the WTO and given primary importance under the TBT Agreement. As noted by the USTR, the approach of defining a list of such bodies was resoundingly rejected in 2002 by the WTO TBT Committee. Instead, the TBT Committee crafted the “Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards. G/TBT/9, Annex IV,” which created an obligation to recognize and use international standards based upon the principles embodied in their development process.
“With individual members from 121 WTO countries, ASTM International develops international standards under a globally recognized process that meets WTO TBT principles and that allows individuals and governments to participate directly, as equals,” said ASTM International President James A. Thomas. “We join USTR in urging that all WTO member countries recognize their WTO TBT obligations and allow the marketplace and individual sectors to choose international standards that best suit their needs, regardless of their source.”
As an integral member of the global trading system, ASTM International is deeply committed to the objectives of the TBT Agreement, such as the elimination of unnecessary technical barriers to trade and the enhancement of global cooperation in standards development. Today, 3,036 ASTM standards have been adopted as either the basis of national standards or referenced in regulation by 63 countries outside of the United States. In addition, ASTM standards and training programs advance the health, safety, and environmental and economic conditions of stakeholders around the globe. //
ASTM Nanotechnology Committee Meets in Japan
ASTM International Committee E56 on Nanotechnology met May 22-24 in Tsukuba, Japan. The meeting was hosted by Japan’s Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, that nation’s largest public research organization. Over 40 committee members and guests attended meetings over the three-day event; highlights included a reception hosted by AIST and a dinner for the E56 officers and several invited guests representing Japanese government and industry sectors. Of particular note was the resolution of a series of negative votes on the E56 terminology document, which resulted in the approval of E 2456, Terminology for Nanotechnology. This standard, the first approved by Committee E56, represents the combined efforts of multiple standards developing organizations, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, NSF International, Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineering. This initial version of E 2456 defines 13 terms, including “nanotechnology” and “nano-.” //
Vicki Colvin (E56 chair) presents Akira Ono (E56 vice chair and AIST staff), with a plaque thanking AIST for their hospitality in hosting the E56 meeting.
Members of Committee E56 tour the AIST facility in Tsukuba, Japan.
Candidates for 2007 ASTM Board of Directors Announced
ASTM announces the slate of candidates selected by the Society’s Nominating Committee for the 2007 board of directors:
• Chairman of the board: Gregory E. Saunders, Defense Standardization Program Office.
• Vice chairman of the board (two-year term): Paul K. Whitcraft, Rolled Alloys, Inc.
Directors (three-year terms):
• Rashid Bin-Fahad, Standardization Organization of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.
• James A. Luppens, U.S. Geological Survey.
• R.W. (Dick) Reaves, Troxier Electronic Labs Inc.
• Earl A. Ruth, Tinius Olsen Test Machine Company.
• Paul H. Shipp, USG Corporation.
Voting instructions and biographies will appear for your approval in Oct. SN. In addition to electing the 2007 board of directors, please recommend candidates from the ASTM membership to serve on next year’s nominating committee. Contact Maureen Houck (phone: 610/832-9594) for more information. //
ASTM Staff Participates in U.S. Department of Commerce Training Program
ASTM International staff members Jim Olshefsky, director, committee services, and Jessica Hychalk, manager, global cooperation, made presentations on ASTM International and the concept of transparency to a Moroccan delegation in Washington, D.C., on June 21. The training was sponsored by the United States Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program, in close cooperation with the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Moroccan delegation consisted of 18 participants representing governmental agencies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the Ministry of External Commerce, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Ministry of Health Direction/ Regulation and Dispute.
Transparency is defined in the World Trade Organization’s Technical Barriers to Trade agreement as the idea that “all essential information regarding current work programs, as well as on proposals for standards, guides and recommendations under consideration and on the final results should be made easily accessible.” The purpose of the program was to demonstrate to the Moroccans how transparency is implemented in the U.S., not in order that the U.S. approach be duplicated in Morocco, but, rather, so that the delegates, reacting to what they would see in the U.S., may start thinking about how to implement free trade area compliant transparency procedures in a Moroccan context.
The presentations included a brief discussion on standards as tools of trade, an overview of ASTM International, the memorandum of understanding program, and information about the electronic tools that facilitate participation in ASTM’s standardization process.
ASTM signed an MOU agreement with the Moroccan national standards body, Service de Normalisation Industrielle Marocaine, in July 2003. Participating in the CLDP program provided an open forum for the Moroccan delegates as well as for ASTM International. //
ASTM International has donated CD-ROM and book collections of its construction standards to the Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team, to aid in the reconstruction of Iraq. Shown from left to right with the one of the volumes containing the standards (more than 2,000 standards published in volumes 04.01-04.13 of the Annual Book of ASTM Standards): Bruce Rhoades, Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team legal advisor; Kamil El-Hussein, Babil PRT Iraqi legal advisor; Ali Haddad, Babil PRT deputy engineer; and Doug Campbell, LCDR, Babil PRT engineer.
State Laws Bolster the Use of ASTM Fire-Safe Cigarette Test Method
ASTM standards and test methods continue to make the world a safer place. To prevent residential fires and save lives, the states of Illinois and New Hampshire recently enacted legislation requiring all cigarettes sold in those states to be self-extinguishing in accordance with ASTM E 2187, Test Method for Measuring the Ignition Strength of Cigarettes. New York, Vermont, California and Canada have passed similar legislation.
In signing the New Hampshire legislation into law, Governor John Lynch stated, “Nationally, cigarettes are one of the leading causes of fires and fire deaths. The technology exists to make our citizens safer, and with this legislation we are taking advantage of that technology to help protect our citizens.” Legislation has also been introduced in the U.S. Congress to require a national ignition standard for cigarettes based on the existing ASTM test method.
ASTM International has joined the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes, a national group of fire service members, consumer and disabled rights advocates, medical and public health practitioners and other related organizations. The purpose of the CFSC, which has been coordinated by the National Fire Protection Association, is to save lives and prevent injuries and damage that result from cigarette-ignited fires. The CFSC is calling on cigarette manufacturers to produce and market cigarettes that adhere to an established cigarette fire safety performance standard that is based on Test Method E 2187. Approved in 2002, the test method is under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee E05 on Fire Standards. //
Mathematics Graduate Student Participates in IUP/ASTM Internship
Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate student Christy Jo Stitt will be participating in an ASTM International internship under the supervision of Christoph Maier, internship coordinator of the IUP math department and member of ASTM International Committee E11 on Quality and Statistics. The goal of the internship program is to provide IUP mathematics graduate students with an opportunity to be introduced to E11's standardization efforts and provide them with experience in working with real data. Stitt will complete the internship from the IUP campus, working with statistical data and participating in virtual meetings with E11 task groups on revisions to existing standards and new draft documents. Stitt and Maier recently traveled to ASTM International Headquarters to discuss the internship. Shown here are Teresa Cendrowska, ASTM director of external relations; Stitt; David Bradley, director, ASTM's Proficiency Testing Program; Maier; Phillip Godorov, manager, ASTM's Interlaboratory Study Program; and Christi Sierk, E11 staff manager.
Staff Service Awards
In June, staff members were honored for their years of service to ASTM International. ASTM presents service awards to employees reaching anniversaries of five, 10, 15, 20, 25 years and beyond. //
ASTM staff members receiving awards for five years of service are Jessica Rosiak and Lindsey Limone.
Barbara Lake received an award for 20 years of service.
ASTM staff members receiving awards for 10 years of service are Tom O’Toole, Helen Scott, Janet Newmeyer, Peggy Bonis, Josephine Felizzi and Pat Picariello.
ASTM staff members receiving awards for 15 years of service are Bill Wilson, Carla Falco, Annette Adams, Shannon Aubry, Janice Bardi, Helen Bucci and Dave Bradley. (Not pictured: John Zack.)
The ASTM Service Club, made up of all staff working for ASTM for 25 or more years, poses for a photo after their annual luncheon. The following received awards this year: Marsha Firman, Doris Hilton, Phil Lively, Hannah Loudenslager, Lisa Mitchell, Barbara Schindler, Betty Jean Steiner, Marcy Travis, Maryann Zamorski (all 25 years); Maria Langiewicz, Ken Pearson, Rocco Pinto (30 years); Bob Bendig (35 years).