Online Event: Understanding the Crucial Role of Standards for American Prosperity
Standardization of products and processes is the foundation for American prosperity. President George Washington outlined this as a priority in his first communication to the Congress. The separate states would never become a united country until commerce was reliable and predictable. A pound of gunpowder had to weigh the same in Pennsylvania and in Georgia. A dollar had to have the same purchasing power in Boston as in Charleston. Setting objective and transparent standards was the foundation for American colonies to grow together as a united nation. As commerce became international, standardization became even more important. Units of weight had to be predictable if ordered from a distant continent.
America’s approach to developing standards and monitoring compliance is different from other nations. America relies on the private sector to establish standards. Other countries consider that a governmental function, but America instead relies on a consensus of producers and customers.
There is no central management authority for standards-setting and compliance monitoring, but there is a major private sector organization that coordinates, educates and promotes objective standardization—the American National Standards Institute. ANSI is a coach, an umpire, a coordinator, and a central player in key areas. Joe Bhatia is the head of ANSI, and he will be our guest for a moderated discussion on the importance of standardization for America’s prosperity.