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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release
June 8, 2000

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I am pleased that House and Senate conferees have reached bipartisan agreement on important electronic commerce legislation, the "Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act." This legislation will remove legal barriers to doing business on-line while preserving consumer protections. Congress should quickly send the bill to my desk.

E-commerce offers substantial benefits for businesses and consumers in terms of efficiency, convenience, and lower costs and is a vital source of dynamism for the American economy. If we are to achieve the full potential of electronic business-to-business and business-to-consumer commerce, however, some minimal ground rules are necessary. Business needs legal certainty that a contract formed and executed on-line will be no less valid than its pen and ink counterpart. Consumers need confidence that they are as safe doing business in the electronic world as they are on paper.

The bipartisan agreement reached by conferees is a responsible and balanced approach to accomplishing both of these goals. The legislation would remove barriers to E-commerce by establishing technology-neutral legal standards for electronic contracts and signatures. It would ensure that consumer protections on-line will be equivalent to those in the paper world.

I applaud the leadership of Chairmen Bliley and McCain who reached across party lines and built a bipartisan consensus. I am also grateful to the Democrats who worked so constructively to reach bipartisan agreement in conference, including Senators Hollings, Leahy, Sarbanes, and Wyden and Congressmen Dingell and Markey.

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