House Passes H.R. 4429, the Electronic Commerce Enhancement Act
Yesterday the House passed legislation designed to improve electronic commerce, especially for our small businesses. H.R. 4429, the Electronic Commerce Enhancement Act, directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to use its Manufacturing Extension Program as an outreach platform to help small manufacturers in assessing their e-commerce needs and to provide expert guidance on how best to use these emerging technologies.
H.R. 4429, as passed, also includes sections of H.R. 4906 directing 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 NIST pilot program that is helping the automotive industry adopt an interoperability program.
Rep. Jim Barcia (MI), ranking Democrat on the Technology Subcommittee, was the primary author of both bills. Upon passage, Barcia said, "The goal of this legislation is to provide small businesses 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. I want to thank my Subcommittee Chair, Connie Morella, for her support of this legislation and Representative Lynn Rivers, who co-authored sections of these bill with me. I am also grateful to Chairman Sensenbrenner and Ranking Member Ralph Hall for their cooperation and support."
Chair of the Technology Subcommittee, Representative Connie Morella (R-MD), added that, "Successfully implemented, eCommerce business strategies have the potential to significantly increase productivity and revenues for many small manufacturers. Electronic commerce can help small manufacturers develop new products and markets while at the same time allowing them to interact more quickly and efficiently with their suppliers and customers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology can play an important role in helping achieve these goals."
The bill now goes before the Senate for consideration.