The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials participated in the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Association’s inaugural Standards Summit, March 6-7, at the offices of C&M International in Washington, D.C.
Via this two-day event, the ITA hopes to gain insight from companies, private sector organizations, and trade-related associations regarding standards, conformity assessment and regulatory trends/challenges in foreign markets and the assistance they require from ITA to effectively address standards-related trade barriers/trends to take advantage of export opportunities.
Dain Hansen, senior vice president of government relations, represented The IAPMO Group during the summit’s third panel discussion, “Showcasing Successful ITA-Client Engagement on Standards-Related Matters,” moderated by Jamie Ferman, Senior International Trade Specialist, Office of Consumer Goods.
The International Trade Administration is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. The ITA has more than 2,200 employees assisting U.S. exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 75 markets worldwide. The IAPMO Group has been a longtime partner with the ITA. For years, it has collaborated and worked with top officials throughout the Department of Commerce to grow the plumbing industry, domestically and internationally. This summit is unique, as the ITA has invited world-class participants, including Foreign Commercial Service officers from around the globe, to discuss important trade issues relating to standards.
“We are thrilled that the federal government understands the importance of standards in growing markets, and making U.S. businesses more competitive,” Hansen said. “IAPMO is excited to have been extended an invitation to present our experiences in establishing U.S. standards internationally – not only to increase U.S. exports, but also creating safer and healthier environments for the countries in which we work."
The IAPMO Group is focused on improving urban water and sanitation services and creating an enabling environment through improved governance and regulatory reform. Through a project jointly funded by USAID and the U.S. Department of Commerce, The IAPMO Group signed an MoU with Indonesia’s national standards body in 2013 that laid out a roadmap for the development and implementation of a new national standard for plumbing. This comprehensive body of regulations, released in March 2015, is now the technical basis for how Indonesia’s critical water/sanitation infrastructure will come together.
Additionally, the IAPMO Group has opened a new testing and certification laboratory, and partnered with government ministries and universities to develop new curriculum so the multiple levels of skilled labor required to design, install, and maintain these systems can be trained to this new advanced level.
Through The IAPMO Group’s work, total annualized U.S. plumbing exports to Indonesia have increased by 85 percent over the pre-project period.