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Global users of electrical power equipment are increasingly given the option of using equipment that implements either the National Electrical Manufacturer's Association (NEMA)/the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards. In many parts of the world, either set of standards may apply. IEC and IEEE standards have come substantially closer over the last decade. However, differences remain. In this article, the authors will explain the differences in the applicable standards and what those differences might mean to a user. The intent is to provide the user with an analytical basis upon which to understand the tradeoffs that may be made in choosing one set of standards over the other.