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Campaign 2000 and e-commerce
(IDG) -- Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush are about to enter the high season of their political race to the White House. Both have included technology and the complexities of e-commerce in their agendas. Here's a look at their positions.
Gore's biggest concern is that the global nature of e-commerce might harm U.S. businesses. On his agenda are some broad measures he plans to take to ensure that home-team efforts are not stymied by worldwide commerce.
He wants to make cyberspace a duty-free zone so companies can sell around the world via the Internet. He'll hook other countries' obligations under the World Trade Organization in a way that does not discriminate against e-commerce. He says he'll insist other countries refrain from enacting trade-related measures that could impede e-commerce.
Gore says e-commerce could create "countless jobs" for American workers, and he wants to foster that potential.
He also wants to make sure that the U.S. government helps with new opportunities on the 'Net. He says he'll do this by doubling the investment in IT research over the next five years. He supports a tax credit for companies that invest in research and development. This could mean big bucks for e-commerce start-ups.
Finally, Gore wants to make sure that students, workers, seniors and poor persons are all connected to the Internet and that they receive the job training they need to prosper in the new economy.
Bush is also hungrily looking to e-commerce to help America continue to boost its economy. But Bush comes down hard on different points.
First off, Bush backs states' sovereign right to control sales tax on purchases made in their states, even if its online. He also supports lifting the current ban on H-1B visas to counteract the labor shortage. He wants reforms so that companies operating online are not stymied by "frivolous lawsuits."
Bush, like Gore, wants to improve education so that the market is flush with skilled workers in a short amount of time. He also supports tax credits for companies doing research and development. Bush has come out strongly against taxing the Internet and imposing 'Net tariffs.
Now that Ralph Nader is pondering a run for president, I wonder what other issues will crop up.
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