Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 113 Part 3.djvu/567

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PROCLAMATION 7196—MAY 17, 1999 113 STAT. 2085 crucial exports are to their bottom lines. Every day, more and more American workers benefit from the fact that exporting firms pay higher salaries, experience fewer closings, and generate jobs at a faster rate than do firms that do not export. That is why we must continue to open markets and expand trade opportunities. At the same time, we must work to ensiure that increased international trade benefits the world's people, promotes the dignity of work, and protects the environment and the rights of workers. As important as world trade is to our economy today, we are only beginning to utilize the commercial potential of the newest international marketplace: the World Wide Web. Today the Internet connects nearly 150 million people around the world. Each day 52,000 additional Americans join that number, and users are making as many as 27 million purchases on the Web each day. Forecasts predict that, in just a few years, global electronic commerce-commerce—^will grow to more than $300 billion annually. By 2005 Internet usage in countries aroimd the world may account for more than $1 trillion worth of global commerce. Recognizing the enormous power and promise that e-commerce holds for American businesses and consumers, my Administration is working to build a framework for global electronic commerce that will keep competition free and vigorous, protect consumers, guarantee privacy, and give users—^not governments—^the responsibility of supervising Internet trade. Working with the Congress, industry, and State and local officials, we have enacted legislation that places a 3-year moratorium on new and discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. We also ratified an international treaty to protect intellectual property online. Last year, representatives of 132 countries followed our lead and signed a WTO Ministerial Declaration to refrain from imposing customs duties on electronic commerce. Working with our trading partners, industry, and consumer advocates, we are extending traditional consumer protections to the arena of electronic commerce. Without imposing burdensome regulations that might stifle growth and innovation, we have offered incentives to online companies to give consumers the protections they need to conduct business on the Internet with security and confidence. Finally, we are working to speed the completion of the global information infrastructure, a series of networks that sends messages and images at the speed of light. Appropriately, the theme of this year's World Trade Day observance is "Trade, a Worldwide Web of Opportunity." Linking businesses and customers aroimd the clock, 7 days a week, the Web provides even the smallest companies with the opportunity to do business on a global scale. We are about to enter a new and unprecedented era in world trade, and America's businesses, workers, and consimiers are poised to embrace this opportunity and continue our leadership of the world economy. NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 16 through May 22, 1999, as World Trade Week. I invite the people of the United States to observe this week with events, trade shows, and edu-