House Passes Electronic Commerce Enhancement Act
Yesterday the House passed legislation designed to improve electronic commerce, especially for small businesses. The bill (H.R. 524) was sponsored by Rep. James Barcia (D-MI). The Electronic Commerce Enhancement Act will direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to use its Manufacturing Extension Program as an outreach platform for working with small manufacturers to assess their e-commerce needs and provide expert guidance on how best to use these emerging technologies.
The bill also directs NIST to identify critical enterprise integration standards to guarantee that businesses all along a supply chain can communicate with each other. This effort builds on a successful pilot program currently underway to help the automotive industry adopt an interoperability program.
Upon passage, Barcia said, “The goal of this legislation is to provide American small business with the information and knowledge they need to make informed business decisions about their e-commerce investments. This bill builds upon successful programs already being run by NIST. As electronic commerce becomes a major part of daily business operations, it is important that the Federal Government work with the private sector to ensure that all businesses are able to keep up with our fast-paced, technology driven economy. If American industry is unable to keep up and communicate electronically, they will be at a disadvantage to technologically savvy foreign competitors.”
The bill now goes before the Senate for consideration.