A wide-ranging coalition of trade groups is backing a bill that would protect businesses making erroneous but good-faith year- 2000 disclosures.

In an Aug. 19 letter to President Clinton and congressional leaders, 50 trade associations representing everything from banking to manufacturing pledged support for the Year 2000 Readiness Disclosure Act, which would provide safety from liability. The bill was introduced in the House on Aug. 6.

"It must pass this year," the letter states. "Nineteen ninety-nine is simply too late."

A spokesman for the American Bankers Association, one of two banking groups signing the letter, said the group slightly prefers the bill to one introduced a week earlier in the Senate, the Year 2000 Information Disclosure Act.

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