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 May 2005 Global Notebook

New Web Site “Drills Down” into Government Standards

A new Web site, Standards.Gov, provides businesses, other organizations and interested citizens with a direct portal to sources of information on the thousands of specifications that government agencies reference in regulations or use to guide their purchasing decisions. From basic tutorials to a searchable database of standards referenced in federal regulations, the Web site offers a broad perspective on the government’s complex standards landscape. Using Standards.Gov, visitors can quickly home in on their particular interests, be it standards incorporated into drinking water requirements, specifications for military equipment, guidelines for respiratory protection in the workplace or other topics. Links to standards-related Web sites maintained by 12 federal departments and independent agencies are featured on the site. This number is likely to grow as other governmental units follow suit and post standards information pertinent to their missions and operations.

WTO and the Netherlands Launch New Trainee Program for LDCs

The World Trade Organization and the Kingdom of the Netherlands have launched a new trainee program for least-developed countries and other low income, and small and vulnerable, economies. The objective is to give the officials from such countries the opportunity to learn, while working for the WTO, about trade- and development-related matters and to develop their knowledge of trade policy. After up to 10 months of WTO internship, the trainees will go back to their ministries and contribute to the strengthening of their countries’ institutional capacity. The Dutch government is contributing a total of 2 million euros over four years for the financing of the internship program. This is in addition to the existing Dutch contribution to the WTO Global Trust Fund for technical assistance. The aim of the trainee program, which was scheduled to start the first of this month, is to assist in the economic and social development of the countries concerned, in areas related to trade policy, by providing officials from beneficiary countries an opportunity to work on specific topics under the direction of WTO staff members. Particular attention will be given to African countries. It is expected that up to 20 trainees may participate in the program each year.

Rob Portman Nominated as Next U.S. Trade Representative

U.S. President George W. Bush has nominated Ohio Congressman Rob Portman to join his Cabinet as the next U.S. Trade Representative. With Senate confirmation, Portman will replace Robert Zoellick, who left the post in February to serve as deputy secretary in the State Department.

New Report Offers Comparison of Structural Performance of Multi-Story Buildings Under Extreme Events

A new American Iron and Steel Institute report provides a unified structural engineering review and objective assessment of the structural performance of major multi-story building collapses in the United States due to the extreme exposures of blast, impact, and fire. The report, Comparison of Structural Performance of Multi-Story Buildings Under Extreme Events, focuses on the four major recent U.S. building collapses due to attack, from Oklahoma City to Washington, D.C., to New York, N.Y. In addition, a historical survey on the performance of multi-story buildings under normal fires is presented for comparison to these extreme events. Copies of the 60-page document can be downloaded at no charge by visiting and clicking on “Other Resources.”

UL Names Keith E. Williams as New President and CEO

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. has named Keith E. Williams president and chief executive officer. UL also elected Williams to the company’s board of trustees. His appointment will begin in mid-May. Williams joins UL from Medtronic, Inc., where, as senior vice president, he diversified and strengthened the company’s Asia-Pacific business while successfully navigating recent changes in Japanese law regarding medical device companies. Williams began his 23-year career with GE Medical Systems in 1974. In 1996, he was named general manager of Global Logistics, managing GE’s $500 million global inventory and international customer service operations. Previously, Williams served as president of GE Medical Systems China where he was responsible for all GE Medical Systems operations in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Fastener Industry Sponsors New Industry-Wide Trade Week

Five fastener industry associations and two fastener-related organizations are in the final stages of preparation for Fastener Week, to be held June 6-9 in Rosemont, Ill. The week’s primary sponsors are the Industrial Fasteners Institute, The International Fastener Machinery Association and the Mid-West Fastener Association. The exposition comprises two long-standing events: Industrial Fastener and Forming International, known as IFFI, and the Mid-West Fastener Exposition. These two shows showcase suppliers for the benefit of the fastener and precision-formed manufacturing sector, and manufacturing exhibits targeted at industry distributors. In addition to the expositions, Fastener Week includes 45 hours of technical, business and management sessions. High-level government officials and well-known industry leaders will speak at an industry breakfast and industry luncheon. //

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