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rightfuUy be suspicious ,that, for the U.S., harmonization

means that

every other country must harmonize to the U.S. tune.

Another important step which should be taken to encourage

international accounting harmonization is to give the U.S. standard

setting process an international focus. Currently, of course, the primary

U.S. standard setter is FASS. Its Mission Statement, which was adopted

in 1973, does not even mention international considerations, much less

direct FASS to work towards harmonization of accounting standards or

to

consider

the

international

ramifications

of

its

actions.

Given

the

different concerns that existed nearly two decades ago, this

is not

necessarily surprising.

FASS's Mission Statement is in urgent need of updating.

Since

1973, there have been dramatic changes in the economic environment,

particularly

in

the

internationalization

of

markets.

FASS's

Mtssion

Statement needs to reflect these changes. In particular, it should direct

FASS to undertake every possible effort to work towards international

harmonization

of

accounting

standards.

One

concrete

way

in

which

harmonization could be facilitated, or at least not made more difficult,

would be if FASS would adopt new standards only in collaboration with

international and major non-U.S. standard setters. If the U.S. continues

to adopt standards unilaterally, the prospects for harmonization will

likely

recede.

It

would

be

much

preferable

if

significant

new

U.S.

20

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