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SENATE OKS PRODUCT STANDARD BILL

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The Senate has approved a bill sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to send U.S. advisers to countries developing new product standards in an effort to ensure that U.S. goods will continue to be sold in Saudi Arabia.

The pilot project provides up to $250,000 in matching funds for each of three years. Hatch said with strong bipartisan support, the bill "should make it clear that Congress considers it vital to American trade to make sure that other countries adopt industrial standards that are compatible with American products."Hatch said product standards have become a major concern for U.S. exporters. "European nations have revamped their standards in anticipation of a unified market by 1992. The European insistence on hormone-free standards for beef, for example, has been strongly protested by the United States."

America is one of the few industrial traders that does not send standards advisers overseas as an export tool.

Since the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization began formulating 50,000 product standards 10 years ago, several nations have had one to ten experts on site offering assistance.