The Basics


Does the United States use SI?

Although the American scientific community uses the SI system of measurement, the general American public still uses the traditional English system of measurement. In an effort to change over to the metric system, the United States government instituted the Metric Conversion Act in 1975. Although the act committed the United States to increasing the use of the metric system, it was on a voluntary basis only. The Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 required all federal agencies to adopt the metric system in their business dealings by 1992. Therefore, all companies that held government contracts had to convert to metric. Although approximately 60% of American corporations manufacture metric products, the English system still is the predominant system of measurement in the United States.


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