By the President of the United States of America
Business and trade have always been central to the American experience. In the period since the Industrial Revolution, the extraordinary growth of our economy has created a marketplace that is the foundation of global commerce. Unparalleled natural and human resources have energized every part of our society-from the agricultural heartland that feeds an international community; to the textile and steel mills that began the machine age in America; to the scientific, computer, and information companies that are leading the way into the fast-paced world of the 21st century.
Consumer protections such as fair pricing and product safety rules are more necessary than ever to ensure that all of us are able to fully and fairly participate in a free enterprise system that encourages competition, productivity, and innovation. These protections have evolved alongside the remarkable expansion of the world economy. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy clarified the importance of consumer protection in a Special Message to Congress that has become known as the Consumer Bill of Rights. This statement articulated each person's rights to safety, information, and choice, and the right to be heard in the process of resolving consumer problems. In 1975 President Gerald R. Ford added the right to consumer education.
As the driving force behind the richest, most prosperous country in the world, the United States' free market is a model for others to emulate. We must ensure that our system continues to emphasize the centrality of the consumer even as it becomes increasingly technology-oriented. Accordingly, last year, I was proud to add the latest element to the Consumer Bill of Rights-the right to service-which urges that convenience, courtesy, performance, and responsiveness remain hallmarks of the American marketplace. So that Federal workers and agencies can take the lead in providing high-quality service, my Administration has also initiated the National Performance Review to improve efficiency and promote excellence in every sector of our Government.
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 October 22 through October 28 as National Consumers Week. I call upon Government officials, industry leaders, and the people of the United States to recognize the vital relationship between our economy and our citizenry and to support the right of all Americans to service excellence.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twentieth.
William J. Clinton
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 2:36 p.m., October 24, 1995]