Ninety-two percent of U.S. goods exported in 2015 were potentially affected by foreign technical regulations that could have significant trade impact, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)’s International Trade Administration (ITA).
The report, “Standards and Regulations: Measuring the Link to Goods Trade,” reflects how technical regulations—in particular, those based on incorporated national or regional standards—can create additional costs for exporters as they seek to adapt their products and processes to suit different regulatory requirements across the globe.
Technical regulations can include mandatory requirements for labelling, testing, or manufacturing products—as well as procedures to certify compliance with such requirements—that must be met to get a product to market.
“This report demonstrates the pervasiveness of technical regulations and their potential to affect U.S. exports,” acting U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Ken Hyatt said.
According to a DOC press release: “Regulations and testing and certification procedures that diverge from international standards—especially in ways that are unnecessarily trade-restrictive—can create challenges for U.S. exporters.”
As coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system, the American National Standards Insitute (ANSI) is pleased to share the report with its members and stakeholders.
“Standards and conformity assessment impact all industry sectors and services, so it is vitally important for U.S. companies, organizations, and government agencies to better understand just how significant that impact can be,” ANSI President and CEO S. Joe Bhatia said. “We are grateful to ITA for their research efforts, and for making this important report available to all.”
To view an infographic that summarizes key findings of the report click here.