The world market is growing at a much faster rate than the American domestic market, but the United States continues to handicap itself by measuring the world in yards rather than meters. Unless American businesses produce more exports using the accepted international metric standard, the U.S. could dull its competitive edge.
The U.S. stands as one of only three countries (Myanmar and Liberia are the others) resisting the switch. Had American businesses adhered closely to international trade standards, they could have increased export revenue last year by $40 billion. Next year the heat is really on the U.S. to conform: a staunchly metric European Community could make American non-metric exports less acceptable in European markets.
Out of necessity, many American multinational corporations manufacture a good portion of their products using metric measurement. Domestic industries, such as the food and paper industries, have focused on fending off foreign competition and the recession and have failed to realize that deeper U.S. penetration of overseas markets through use of the metric system could pump new profits into their bottom line.