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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 29, 1999


                           FOR HOLIDAY SEASON

With electronic commerce expected to reach record levels during the holiday shopping season, in his weekly radio address President Clinton will unveil "tips for online shoppers," and will announce a series of private sector initiatives to help protect and educate the online consumer. This holiday season, about 4 million American families will buy gifts online for the first time. President Clinton will also urge Americans to use the Internet to make this holiday season a record season for giving as well as shopping. The President will commend organizations and Internet companies that are making it easier for Americans to use the Internet to find volunteer opportunities, make on-line donations, gather information on non-profit organizations, or give toys to underprivileged children.

The Growth of E-Commerce

In his weekly radio address, President Clinton will discuss the remarkable rise of the Internet as a destination for holiday shopping - and how the Clinton Administration is working to ensure that online commerce will live up to its enormous promise. This holiday season, shoppers will spend as much as $9.5 billion purchasing gifts and products on-line [Harris Interactive], and as many as 1.3 billion people will visit on-line shopping sites. [Industry Standard] The percentage of the online population planning to purchase at least one product over the Internet has increased from 8 percent last year to 32 percent this year. [Harris Interactive] And, e-commerce sales during the holidays are expected to double, and possibly triple, between 1998 and 1999. [Industry Standard] Overall, e-commerce could exceed $1.4 trillion by the year 2003. [Forrester Research]

Consumer education and protection will accelerate the growth of electronic commerce by increasing consumer confidence in the online marketplace. The explosion of the Internet and electronic commerce has also strengthened the U.S. economy, with information technology industries accounting for 1/3 of U.S. economic growth in the last three years and generating high-wage jobs that pay almost 80 percent more than the private sector average.

Tips for Online Shoppers

In his weekly radio address, the President will announce new Federal Trade Commission consumer protection tips to help first-time on-line shoppers. These tips encourage consumers to:

New Private-Sector Actions to Protect Consumers

President Clinton and Vice President Gore have challenged the private sector to protect and educate consumers in preparation for "e-shopping." Below are just a few of the commitments that the private sector has made:


During this holiday season, President Clinton also challenged Americans to use the Internet to help those in need and give something back to our communities. Today, signing up to contribute time or money in your community is as easy as turning on your computer. Already, foundations and Internet companies have developed Web sites that are allowing Americans to:

Examples of these sites include,, and

A Strong Record of Promoting Electronic Commerce and Protecting Consumers

President Clinton and Vice President Gore have worked hard to promote electronic commerce and build consumer confidence in the online marketplace. They have supported private sector leadership and industry self-regulation whenever possible, but have fought for new laws in some areas such as children's privacy. In the upcoming weeks, the Vice President will unveil a report detailing the Administration's progress in promoting e-commerce, and new steps to help unleash its full potential.

Administration accomplishments include:

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