Press Releases

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Promoting United States Leadership in Standards Act of 2024, legislation aimed at restoring the U.S.’s position as a leader in international standards-setting for emerging technologies.

For decades, the United States led the world in developing new technologies, which allowed our country to set the rules of the road when it came to those technologies’ global standards. However, in recent years, Chinese companies backed by the Communist Party of China have overtaken the U.S., which has allowed the Chinese government to influence standards in ways that further their own interests.

“In recent years, the Communist Party of China has asserted their dominance in the global technology space, and as their status has risen, our authority and influence has fallen,” said Sen. Warner. “This legislation clearly outlines steps we must take to reestablish our leadership and ensure that we are doing all we can to set the global standards for critical and emerging technologies.”

“The Communist Chinese Party has made it their mission to undermine the U.S. and our interests around the globe by exploiting our deficiencies,” said Sen. Blackburn. “As they ramp up their efforts to dominate global standards for emerging technologies, the U.S. must be a global leader in innovation, and that includes setting standards that reflect our interests and values.”

Standards-setting bodies make critical decisions not only relating to technical specifications, but also relating to values, such as openness, safety, and accessibility, embedded in emerging technologies.

Specifically, the Promoting United States Leadership in Standards Act would:

  • Require the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to submit a report to Congress that identifies current U.S. participation in standards development activities for AI and other CETs;
  • Create an easy-to-access web portal to help stakeholders navigate and actively engage in international standardization efforts. The portal would include a list of relevant standards and information about how to participate in standardization activities related to AI and other CETs;
  • Establish a pilot program to award $10 million in grants over 4 years to support the hosting of standards meetings for AI and other CETs in the U.S.;
  • Create a report to Congress, after the third year of the program, that identifies grant recipients, provides a summary of expenses, assesses the effectiveness of the program to grow the number of standards meetings in the U.S, and shows the geographic distribution of event attendees.

“The United States must continue to lead global technical standardization. IEEE-USA supports Senator Warner's and Senator Blackburn's Promoting United States Leadership in Standards Act of 2024 to enable necessary increased stakeholder access to the standards development process, especially for those who may not have the resources to fully engage in the development activities. Enabling access for underrepresented actors increases the diversity of voices and ensures democratization of the process, thus strengthening the open markets in which the U.S. is highly competitive,” said Keith Moore, President, IEEE-USA.

“Cisco is engaged in the proper development and deployment of AI across all aspects of the ecosystem, and we firmly believe U.S. leadership is fundamental in the development of global standards for AI and other critical technologies. This legislation will not only foster U.S. participation in standards-setting bodies but also help create a policy environment that unlocks the benefits of responsible and trustworthy use of AI. We applaud the bipartisan efforts of Senators Warner and Blackburn and look forward to engaging them and other stakeholders on this important issue,” said Nicole Isaac, Vice President, Global Public Policy, Government Affairs, Cisco.

“We applaud Senators Warner and Blackburn for introducing the Promoting United States Leadership in Standards Act, which can better position standards development organizations and standards participants for success,” said Morgan Reed, President of ACT | The App Association. “A strong, yet nimble approach to technical standards development is a foundational imperative for ACT | The App Association’s members as they create tomorrow’s innovations. Nurturing open and global participation in standardization activities, especially when hosted in the United States, can address shared technical challenges while advancing American technology leadership.  This legislation represents a decisive step in the right direction. We look forward to working with the sponsors to ensure the language best achieves Congress’ goals as the bill moves forward.”

“XRA is proud to support the Promoting United States Leadership in Standards Act of 2024. Emerging technologies like XR drive economic growth and help the U.S. address strategic challenges like workforce development, industrial productivity, and healthcare delivery. Foreign governments, particularly competitors of the U.S., see immersive technology and other emerging technologies as their chance to shape the future of computing and grow their economic influence. These competitors are actively engaged in the development of technical standards and governance frameworks and understand that early leadership in these bodies yield long-term advantage. Unfortunately, the United States Government’s participation in these critical international standards bodies has not kept pace," says the XR Association’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Joan O’Hara. “This legislation will strengthen the United States’ leadership role in the development, adoption, and governance of critical emerging technologies like XR.”

Full text of the legislation is available here. A one-page summary of the legislation is available here