U.S. Ambassador to SII: Adopt more American standards

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer has urged the Standards Institution of Israel to adopt more American standards. The ambassador addressed his request to SII Director General Ziva Patir at a meeting hosted by SII that was also attended by representatives of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. In 2003 SII adopted 169 foreign standards, of which only three were American.

Patir reported that European standards associations, seeking wider adoption of their standards, provide them at no charge to SII, while the privately-run American associations do not make their standards available to Israel. She further noted that standards committees – comprising all Israeli market sectors – find it difficult to reach decisions based on these standards. Patir requested Kurtzer’s assistance in SII’s receiving these standards in its library for use by the committees, a move that will help promote trade between the countries. Ambassador Kurtzer agreed to seek a solution to the issue.

Participants at the meeting also agreed to establish a joint committee of SII, the American Embassy, the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce, that would promote cooperation in standardization matters, thus promoting bilateral trade and the Ministry of Industry & Trade.

Ambassador Kurtzer was concerned about Israel’s joining CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, and the influence of wholesale adoption of European standards on Israel-U.S. trade relations and on Israel-U.S. relations in general. Patir invited representatives of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce to participate in discussions that would resolve this issue.

Ambassador Kurtzer also commended the cooperative projects of SII with the U.S.-Israel Science & Technology Commission in the area of homeland security.