And what Chesterfield proposed is that the law will simply no longer refer directly to codes like those developed by ASME and like organizations, it'll be about liability and protections against it. Technically that would mean that anything that could be insured or bonded could be legal without having an comparison to a published standard in such a world, but in practice insurance companies like things to follow measurable, definable standards, and either wouldn't offer insurance or would charge significantly more for it to the point that it's not viable to pay that much to avoid the published standards.
What I think it comes down to is that various governments took the easy way out. They could have bought the standards documents themselves, published them, and paid for revisions, but it was easier and cheaper for them to cite the private standard instead. Companies that develop standards have fairly carefully figured out how much they can charge before their fees serve to stall the industry, and they make a lot of profit on their efforts.