The United States government has prepared a strategy to help accelerate the growth of global commerce across the Internet. Under the leadership of Vice President Gore, an interagency working group on Electronic Commerce1 has prepared, A FRAMEWORK FOR GLOBAL ELECTRONIC COMMERCE. The interagency working group has been meeting for the past 18 months, analyzing the issues and consulting with academics, business representatives, consumer groups, and members of the Internet community in order to prepare the FRAMEWORK. An earlier version was available for public comment and appeared on the World Wide Web ( http://www.iitf.nist.gov/eleccomm/exec_sum.htm ) last December.

The FRAMEWORK establishes a set of principles to guide policy development, outlines the Administration positions on a number of key issues related to electronic commerce, and provides a road map for international negotiations, where appropriate. It also identifies which government agencies will take the lead in implementing this work.

The Clinton Administration has developed this Framework because it is a critical element of the Administration's agenda on trade and technology as it discusses the commercial implications of the Global Information Infrastructure (GII). With responsible private sector leadership and support from our colleagues in Congress, state and local governments, the Clinton Administration hopes to work with our international trading partners and ensure the development of a free and open global electronic marketplace.

The interagency working group consists of high-level representatives of several cabinet agencies, including the Departments of Treasury, State, Justice and Commerce, as well as the Executive Office of the President, including the Council of Economic Advisors, the National Economic Council, the National Security Council, the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Office of the Vice-President, and the U.S. Trade Representative. Independent commissions including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission also have been involved.