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Blog Category: Office of the Secretary

U.S. Census Bureau Releases National and State Populations from 2010 Census

Secretary Locke, Acting Deputy Secretary Blank and Census Director Groves Unveiled the Official National Population

Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released their initial data from the 2010 Census. The nationwide population as of April 1, 2010 was 308,745,538. Secretary Locke also announced a final 2010 Census savings of $1.87 billion.

“Without the help of the American people and the more than 257,000 partner organizations that worked with the U.S. Census Bureau to raise awareness and encourage participation, we would not have been able to achieve $1.87 billion in 2010 Census savings and a final mail response rate of 74 percent in a time of declining survey participation,” Locke said.

The 2010 Census counts show how the U.S. population has grown and shifted over the last decade. More than $400 billion in federal funds are distributed every year to states and communities based in part on Census population data and American Community Survey (ACS) results. State and local governments use this data to plan new roads, new schools and new emergency services, and businesses use the data to develop new economic opportunities.

With field operations now completed, the 2010 Census came in at a cost 25 percent lower than planned expenditures for this fiscal year. In August, the Census Bureau announced $1.6 billion in 2010 Census savings. The final figure increased by almost $300 million due to additional efficiencies in subsequent operations and field infrastructure.

The U.S. Census also announced the reapportionment of the U.S. House of Representatives. Texas will gain 4 congressional seats. Florida will gain 2 seats. Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, Utah, Washington and Nevada will each gain an additional congressional district. New York and Ohio will each lose two congressional seats. Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey will lose one congressional district.

Commerce Commits to Environmental Management

Green arrows symbolizing reduce-reuse-recycleThe Department of Commerce has recently sponsored several initiatives to green the economy and enhance renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean technology trade around the globe.  But the Department is also working internally to green its operations.  On December 9 Secretary Locke signed a new environmental policy renewing the Department of Commerce’s commitment to sustainability and environmental management (PDF).  The policy commits the Department to considering environmental impacts in all planning, purchasing, operating, and budget decisions; purchasing greener products; reducing energy, water, and fuel use; promoting reuse, recycling, and diversion of waste from landfills whenever possible; providing a safe and healthy work environment for its employees; complying with environmental laws and applicable executive orders; and implementing a Department-wide environmental management system applicable to all operating units, staff, and contractors.

The new policy is the final milestone for the new headquarters-level, Department-wide environmental management system (EMS), which has been under development for several months.  The EMS provides a set of roles, responsibilities, processes, and procedures for managing progress towards the Department’s Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan goals and reducing the Department’s environmental impacts.  Read more about the Department’s environmental management system or to download a copy of the new environmental policy (PDF).

U.S. Department of Commerce Recognizes International Anti-Corruption Day

Today is International Anti-Corruption Day, and to reflect on the global fight against corruption and reinforce the importance of combating transnational bribery, U.S. Department of Commerce General Counsel Cameron Kerry has penned an opinion editorial.

In the past year alone, American companies are believed to have lost out on deals worth about $25 billion because they have refused to pay bribes. Bribery and corruption are trade barriers that impede our ability to rebuild the economy and meet President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports.  

In his op-ed, Kerry stresses that companies should be able to compete for international business on the quality and price of their products and services, not bribes. He encourages countries and businesses around the world to join in the fight against transnational bribery.

As the General Counsel of the Department of Commerce, Kerry is the principal legal adviser to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.

US - China Commercial Relationship Policy Conference

Last week the US Department of Commerce jointly sponsored a Policy Conference to discuss the US-China Commercial Relationship with the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, the Henry Jackson Foundation, and the host of the event, Georgetown University.  The event featured a number of panels composed of experts from all fields discussing the state and future of US-China policy.  The event was bracketed by welcoming remarks from Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and concluding remarks by General Counsel Cameron Kerry.  Kerry also participated on the conference’s final panel in a discussion of the Impact of Developments in China’s Commercial Legal System

During his remarks, General Counsel Kerry spoke about the work of his office and the Department of Commerce in developing commercial rule of law in China.  He said, "With the Rule of law, business can predict and plan their investments, research and development, purchases, and sales with greater certainty.  Without it, they are left to guess about the costs and benefits of any deal."  He discussed the importance of both the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) and the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in fostering a strong bilateral commercial relationship.  He described the US-China Legal Exchange, a program designed to foster mutual understanding of the legal regimes governing trade and investment that began in 1983. He also spoke of his role as co-lead of the Transparency Dialogue, which has led to greater transparency in Chinese Government decision-making processes, including the promulgation of rules and regulations and dialogue on transnational bribery.  He sees the role of lawyers in both countries as crucial to promoting the rule of law. 

After his panel, General Counsel Kerry concluded the conference by addressing the need for a more sustainable, balanced trade with China.  He noted that the two nations are inextricably linked to each other’s wellbeing and that China must strive to be as free, fair, and open as the United States.  The conference has helped to set the stage for the JCCT, which the US will host in Washington, DC on December 14-15, 2010.

 

Read General Counsel Kerry's remarks here.

Files

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative Announced Today

Members of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee MeetToday Secretary Locke joined seven other U.S. government agencies in launching the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Initiative, a coordinated effort to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency exports.

Through the Initiative, the U.S. government will support renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) exporters by offering new financing products, enhancing market access, increasing trade promotion and improving the delivery of export promotion services to current and future RE&EE companies. The federal government is also launching a new online portal as part of the Initiative to provide renewable energy companies easy access to government export resources, and the Commerce Department is committing to an increased number of RE&EE trade and trade-policy missions.

Energy is a $6 trillion global market, and clean energy is the fastest growing sector.

The Initiative is the federal government’s first-ever coordinated effort to support the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency exports and is designed to facilitate an increase of RE&EE exports during the next five years, helping to meet the goals of the National Export Initiative and President Obama’s challenge to become the leading exporter of clean energy technologies

Commerce, NAM and FedEx Join Forces to Boost U.S. Exports

Commerce Department, National Association of Manufacturers, Fedex Join Forces to Boost U.S. Exports

Secretary Locke joined by Sureesh Kumar, Russell Fleming and Gov. John Engler pose after the NMEI press conferenceU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined Governor and President of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) John Engler and FedEx officials today at the Commerce Department to announce a new partnership that will help increase U.S. exports and create jobs in America. NAM, the nation’s leading manufacturing association, is the first industry organization to launch the Department’s New Market Exporter Initiative (NMEI), which will bolster President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) by identifying NAM members and FedEx customers who already export and helping them expand to new international markets by connecting them with Commerce Department trade specialists.

Commerce, NAM and FedEx will work with businesses to identify key markets, build market-entry strategies and provide the guidance needed to take high-quality products and services from the U.S. to global markets – building their businesses, increasing American exports and supporting new jobs at home. Small- and medium-sized companies interested in expanding into new markets will have access to the free resources and tools available through a nationwide network of international trade experts and global shipping specialists. Activities to build awareness will include outreach at trade shows, direct mail campaigns and online registration for resource support.

“We know that American businesses produce world-class goods and services,” Locke said. “What we can improve is connecting those businesses to the 95 percent of the world's consumers living outside our borders. This partnership with the National Association of Manufacturers will do just that – helping to link manufacturers, especially small- and medium-sized firms, with new markets abroad.”

Manufacturers play a key role in exports with two-thirds of all manufactured goods contributing to overall exports. In 2008, American exports accounted for nearly 7 percent of our total employment and one in three manufacturing jobs.

Webcast of Secretary Locke Delivering Remarks at Policy Conference Discussing Commercial Relationship Between U.S. and China

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke will deliver the opening remarks at a day-long policy conference that discusses the commercial relationship between the United States and China.  The forum features senior Commerce Department officials and leading experts on China’s economy, political landscape, trade networks, science and innovation policy, and environmental technologies.  In anticipation of the next U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) later in December, this conference will focus on the U.S. government’s efforts to improve market access for U.S. exports in the Chinese economy and increase opportunities for mutually beneficial trade.  This forum is jointly hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, and Georgetown University.

Secretary Locke is scheduled to start his remarks at 8:45 a.m. Webcast provided by Georgetown University.

The webcast has ended. Please check back later for archived video of Secretary Locke's speech.

(UPDATED after the jump)

Secretary Locke Meets with Indonesian Ambassador to Strengthen Bilateral Ties

Secretary Gary Locke and the newly-appointed Ambassador of Indonesia, Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, shaking handsU.S.Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with the newly-appointed Ambassador of Indonesia, Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, to discuss U.S.-Indonesia commercial relations.  The meeting follows up on the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership formalized during President Obama’s visit to Indonesia on November 9-10, as well as the clean energy trade mission led by Secretary Locke in May, 2010.

During the meeting, Locke reinforced the U.S. commitment to building better commercial relations with Indonesia.  Locke and Ambassador Djalal discussed ways to make Indonesia a more appealing destination for U.S. investments and underscored Indonesia’s importance in helping President Obama reach the National Export Initiative (NEI) goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015, supporting 2 million American jobs.  Indonesia—the third-fastest growing economy among G-20 nations in 2009—was selected as one of six target foreign markets in support of the NEI, where the U.S. government will help American businesses export in six sectors: infrastructure, education, food and agriculture, health, defense, and creative industries.

By assuming the leadership position as the incoming chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indonesia will be an important regional partner for the United States.  As the world’s third-most-populous democracy and the largest Muslim majority democracy, Indonesia also plays a pivotal role in ensuring security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.   A meaningful and productive relationship with Indonesia is critical to advancing U.S. economic, diplomatic and security interests, and Secretary Locke and the Commerce Department will continue to play an active role in engaging Indonesia through future meetings and trade missions.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Web Chat with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke

This afternoon, Secretary Locke participated in a live, online web chat hosted by the White House as part of its “Open for Questions” series to help commemorate National Entrepreneurship Week. Questions were submitted through the Fast Company website and the White House blog, and discussion focused on the administration's role in promoting innovation-based, high-growth entrepreneurship.

Watch this video and many others on the White House video page.