By William Jackson
The White House has issued a policy memo clarifying the government’s role in setting technical standards for commercial products in an environment that is becoming increasingly global and interconnected.
The January memo makes no drastic changes in the standards-setting process, which will continue to be driven primarily by the private sector.
“Most standards developed and used in U.S markets are created with little or no government involvement,” it says, and this will remain the primary strategy. “In limited policy areas, however, where a national priority has been identified … , active engagement or a convening role by the federal government may be needed to accelerate standards development and implementation to help spur technological advances and broaden technology adoption.”