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Memorandums of understanding, a meeting with the WTO, and seminars in Asia comprise this month’s sampling of international efforts undertaken by ASTM International.

In December of 2001, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program arranged a visit of delegates from seven Eastern Balkan States to ASTM International Headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa. Participating were representatives from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The meeting provided an opportunity to exchange information about various standardization processes, and learn about ASTM’s electronic tools and programs related to standardization.

Consistent with its commitment and outreach to developing nations, and supporting the principle of multiple approaches to international standards development, ASTM International encouraged each nation in attendance to consider entering into a memorandum of understanding.

As one of the benefits of the MOU, ASTM provides the participating National Standards Body with a full set of the Annual Book of ASTM Standards. ASTM is working with the DOC–CLDP, so that each participating National Member Body of the Eastern Balkan States program will have realized this benefit before signing MOUs. ASTM gratefully acknowledges the DOC–CLDP’s efforts and commitment.

Memorandums of Understanding

The Jamaican Bureau of Standards has signed a memorandum of understanding with ASTM. The memorandum specifies the forms of mutual cooperation between the two organizations. Cooperative efforts and benefits include: JBS may reproduce and distribute ASTM standards as JBS National Standards; ASTM will jointly sponsor ASTM/JBS industry standards and training programs, JBS may freely participate in ASTM standards development; JBS will seek and recruit partners for such ASTM initiatives as interlaboratory cross-check programs and technical and professional training.

On April 25, ASTM President Jim Thomas and Vice President of Global Cooperation Kitty Kono were to have traveled to Ecuador to sign an MOU with the Instituto Ecuatoriano de Normalización (INEN), Ecuador’s national standards body. INEN Director General Felipe Urresta invited Thomas and Kono to sign the MOU at a seminar on standards hosted by INEN and featuring representatives of ASTM, the National Fire Protection Association, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the American Concrete Institute. Thomas’ planned seminar presentation is titled “Standards in the Global Economy.”

Trip to Geneva

In March, Kitty Kono visited the headquarters of the World Trade Organization in Geneva with standards consultant Helen Delaney and Director of Technical Trade Barriers Suzanne M. Troje of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The trio spoke with Counsellor of the WTO Trade and Environment Division Vivien Liu about standards and trade and provided information on the worldwide use of ASTM standards. Kono expressed ASTM’s willingness to work with the WTO to provide standards-related technical assistance and training to developing countries worldwide.

Industry Seminars in Asia

In July, ASTM will host industry workshops in Japan and China. In cooperation with the Japanese Standards Association, ASTM will host seminars bringing together representatives of the Japanese steel, plastics, and rubber industries with members of ASTM Committees A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel, and Related Alloys, D20 on Plastics, and D11 on Rubber. The same sort of workshops for the steel and rubber industries are planned soon after in Shanghai in cooperation with the Shanghai Institute for Standardization. //

Copyright 2002, ASTM

Two representatives of the Instituto Chileno del Acero (the Chilean Steel Institute) visited ASTM in late March. The pair came to ASTM to explore potential areas of mutual cooperation. Pictured are: George Luciw, ASTM director and manager of Committee A01 on Steel, Stainless Steel, and Related Alloys; Teresa Cendrowska, ASTM director, External Relations; Mariano Nicolas Mayne, executive director, ICHA; ASTM President Jim Thomas; and Sergio Contreras Arancibia, permanent technical consultant to ICHA.