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Quotable Quotes
Updated in 2019


"Approximately 80 percent of international trade is affected by standards and the health, safety and environmental regulations that incorporate them.  The Department of Commerce is pledged to ensuring level playing fields for US manufacturers and exporters by urging our trading partners to adopt market-driven performance standards, and to seek assurance of conformity to agreed-upon standards so that we can achieve the goal of "one test, one time, accepted everywhere."
Dr. Arden Bement, Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology (2002)


“Standardization is an enabler that enhances the effectiveness of our armed forces today and will allow us to meet our national security goals tomorrow….  In Operation Enduring Freedom, our troops have come to expect ammunition, fuel, communications, towing hitches, and a litany of other items to be standard.  Only when there is a lack of standardization does the need for standardization become noticeable and truly appreciated.”

Principal Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Allen Beckett at Defense Standardization Program Awards Ceremony (April 2002)


“A sustainable environment requires increased productivity; productivity comes about by innovation; innovation is the result of investment; and investment is only possible when a reasonable return is expected.  The efficient use of money is more assured when there are known standards in which to operate.”

Robert W. Lane, Chairman & CEO, Deere & Company, World Standards Day 2001 Speech


“The exclusion of technology supporting US needs from international standards can be a significant detriment to US competitiveness.  The US will lose market share as competitors work hard to shape standards to support their own technologies and methods….  When our standards in these areas are not accepted elsewhere, we all lose.”

"National Standards Strategy for the United States” (August 2000)


“New rules will determine who flourishes, and who falls behind.  At the heart of those new rules are standards….  In Canada last year, more than 60 per cent of the national standards approved were based on international standards.  That trend reflects our own shift in trade: 60 per cent of Canadian manufactured goods are exported to other nations.  In 1980, only 25 per cent of our goods were exported.”

Honourable John Manley, Canadian Minister of Industry (March 2000)



“At the international level, standards are becoming a pillar of the new global trade system.  As barriers to trade and investment are eliminated and information technologies continue to evolve, standardization is taking on an increasingly important role in global affairs.”

“Canadian Standards Strategy and Implementation Proposals” (March 2000)


“From a macroeconomic perspective, it is significant that standards make a greater contribution to economic growth than patents or licenses….  Innovation potential alone is not sufficient to maintain competitiveness.  An efficient dissemination of innovation via standards is a precondition for economic growth.”

“Economic Benefits of Standardization Summary of Results” Published by DIN German Institute for Standardization (2000)


“In an age of interconnectivity, businesses need an architecture that extends outward to partners and customers….  The successful companies select a few standards and enforce them strictly.”

Bill Gates, “Business @ The Speed of Thought” (1999)


“I firmly believe US industry leaders should have more than a passing interest in developing international standards.  These standards will dictate the terms of US access to global markets, and the terms of our relationships with foreign suppliers and customers.”

Deputy Secretary of Commerce Robert Mallett, ASME-Industry Standards Summit (April 1998)


“The United States is the most productive and competitive nation in the world….  Continued progress, however, is needed if we are to move forward into the twenty-first century and achieve higher levels of productivity and economic growth….  A high-level focus by government and industry on standards and conformity assessment policy is one way of reaching these goals and promoting a more productive national economy.”

“Standards, Conformity Assessment, and Trade into the 21st Century” National Research Council (1995)


“Standards are essential for all human activity, but most people take them for granted.  Only when products fail to work, or mishaps occur, does the average person think about standards.  Even in business, where money is at stake, standards are often given a low priority.  There is a clear need in the United States for greater attention to standards.”

“Global Standards: Building Blocks for the Future” Congress of the United States, Office of Technology Assessment (March 1992)