Other than the U.S., what other country still uses the old English System of Units?
Asked by: Ken Karchinski
While the rest of the world is pretty much standardized on the metric system of
measurements, when it comes to mandatory use the big holdouts are the United States
and Great Britain, Liberia and Burma.
The United States is a charter member of the metric club, having signed the
original document (the Treaty of the Meter), in Paris on May 20, 1875. They were
the only English-speaking nation to do so. Since then, 48 nations have now signed
this treaty, including all the major industrialized countries.
In the United States, the metric system became legal in 1866 to use in commerce for
units of weight and measure.
All is not lost, though.
Some international organizations have threatened to restrict U.S. imports that do
not conform to metric standards. Rather than trying to maintain dual inventories
for domestic and foreign markets, a number of U.S. corporations have chosen to go
metric. Motor vehicles, farm machinery, and computer equipment are manufactured to
The Omnibus Trade Bill (1988), requires almost all federal agencies to use metric
units in their procurements, grants, and business activities.