THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Monday, November 30, 1998
LEADING THE WORLD INTO THE INFORMATION AGE
Today, we are drawing up the blueprints for a new economic age -- blueprints not for starting big institutions but rather for freeing small entrepreneurs. We have the honor of designing the architecture for a global electronic marketplace, a marketplace that includes all nations, a marketplace with stable laws, strong protection for consumers, serious incentives for competition, and includes all people and nations.
President Bill Clinton
November 30, 1998
Today at a White House event, President Clinton and Vice President Gore will discuss electronic commerce and its impact on our economy. The President will announce the release of a directive to government agencies to promote Internet use and electronic commerce and issue a report on Administration efforts to promote these technologies.
Presidential Leadership In The Information Age. Electronic commerce, the Internet, and information technology are transforming our economy and our society in ways that are sweeping and profound. In 1997, the President and Vice President released A Framework for Global Electronic Commerce, which set forth principles for the Administration's electronic commerce strategies. Since then, the number of Internet users has doubled, information technology industries are now responsible for over one-third of the real growth in the U.S. economy, and electronic commerce is spreading rapidly, and driving productivity improvements in virtually every sector of the economy. The President and Vice President have also won an agreement to place a moratorium on duties on international electronic transmissions, supported technology literacy in schools, encouraged Internet companies to protect individual privacy, and reached agreements with key trading partners to promote electronic commerce.
Working To Generate Further Growth In Electronic Commerce. Today, President Clinton will issue a directive announcing five new areas for government agencies to focus on to promote electronic commerce:
- Protecting Consumers From Cyber-Fraud. The Commerce Department will work with the Federal Trade Commission to educate consumers about fraud on the Internet, promote industry self-regulation, and ensure that existing laws against fraud can be enforced in the global marketplace;
- Increasing High-Speed Internet Access. The Commerce Department and the office of the United States Trade Representative will work with the Federal Communications Commission to pursue policies that will increase the availability of higher-speed Internet access in the U.S. for homes and businesses;
- Encouraging Small Businesses To Get Online. The Commerce Department and the Small Business Administration will encourage small businesses to get online and will work to ensure that information and services needed by small business are available to them via the Internet;
- Understanding The Impact Of The Digital Economy. The National Economic Council will lead an inter-agency effort to measure the impact of the Internet and electronic commerce on the U.S. and the global economy;
- Promoting The Internet And Electronic Commerce In Developing Countries. The Secretary of State will initiate a program to spur the spread of the Internet and electronic commerce in developing countries.
Building On A Solid Record Of Achievement. The President and Vice President will also release a report detailing the Administration's accomplishments over the last year and a half in promoting electronic commerce, including the passage of:
- The Internet Tax Freedom Act which imposed a 3 year moratorium on Internet access taxes;
- The Digital Millennium Copyright Act which implements treaties on intellectual property protection;
- The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act which requires commercial Web sites to get a parent's permission before collecting information from children under age 13;
- The Government Paperwork Elimination Act, which encourages the government to move towards electronic filing and the acceptance of electronic signatures; and
- The Next Generation Internet Research Act, which authorizes an initiative to connect universities at speeds 1,000 times faster than today's Internet.