Commerce.gov is getting a facelift soon. See the new design.
Syndicate content

The Commerce Blog

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.

Facts for Features: Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 2010

Image of cornucopeiaIn the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims, early settlers of Plymouth Colony, held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest, an event many regard as the nation's first Thanksgiving. Historians have also recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America, including British colonists in Virginia in 1619. The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.  Facts and more for Thanksgiving Day

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.

September Marks the Fifth Consecutive Month of Double-Digit Travel and Tourism Export Growth

Graph of Change in U..S. Travel and Tourism-Related ExportsInternational travelers spent nearly $12 billion in the U.S. in September

According to newly released data from the Commerce Department, international visitors traveling to the United States pumped an estimated $11.7 billion into the U.S. economy during the month of September, up $1.7 billion compared to the same period last year.  This marks the fifth month of double-digit growth and ninth straight month of overall growth in U.S. travel and tourism exports.  Total travel and tourism-related exports have increased, on average, $1.2 billion a month in 2010. 

“Travel and tourism continues to be one of the bright spots in our economy,” Locke said.  “Continued growth in the tourism sector will help us achieve our goal of doubling exports over the next two years.” 

  • Travel Receipts: Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $9.0 billion during September, an increase of 15 percent when compared to last year. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel. 
  • Passenger Fare Receipts: Fares received by U.S. carriers (and U.S. vessel operators) from international visitors increased by nearly 27 percent to $2.7 billion for the month, an increase of $575 million when compared to September 2009.

International visitors have spent an estimated $100 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services year to date (January through September), an increase of 11 percent when compared to the same period last year.

Americans have spent nearly $77.4 billion abroad year-to-date (up four percent)—resulting in a $22.6 billion trade surplus for travel and tourism through the first nine months of 2010.

Secretary Locke Delivers Remarks at Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Annual Business and Leadership Conference

Secretary Locke receives recognition from the LGBT Chamber for his work

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addressed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) business owners and entrepreneurs today at the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) 7th Annual National Business and Leadership Conference. Locke emphasized the strong partnership between the Obama administration and the NGLCC to advance issues important to the LGBT community, and highlighted a Memorandum of Understanding that he will sign to deepen the relationship between the Department of Commerce and the Chamber and expand opportunities for all LGBT businesses.

Locke also discussed the administration’s efforts to create jobs and promote economic growth by fostering innovation and boosting exports through President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports over the next five years in support of several million American jobs. 

The three-day conference, “Out for Business!” includes business symposiums, keynote speakers, panel discussions and various special events that work to connect local and national LGBT businesses with NGLCC's corporate partners to expand opportunities for growth. The NGLCC is the business advocate and direct link between LGBT business owners, corporations and government. It represents the interests of more than 1.4 million LGBT-owned businesses, partners with 125 corporations, and is the umbrella organization for 61 state, local and international LGBT chambers of commerce and businesses.  Remarks

Census Bureau Introduces New Economic Indicators Search Tool

The Department of Commerce's Census Bureau has introduced a new, user-friendly Internet tool that takes all the guesswork out of finding, downloading and using data from economic indicators. For the first time, users can access data from multiple indicators in one place and all in the same format. This tool provides an easy way to create data tables in ASCII text or time series charts in your favorite spreadsheet format. Users can select an indicator and choose data by item, time period and other dimensions using drop-down menus. Of the Census Bureau's 12 economic indicators, four are operational in the new tool now -- international trade, manufactures' shipments, monthly wholesale trade and quarterly services; the remainder are expected to be available in this database throughout the course of 2011.

President Obama to Honor Recipients of the 2009 National Medal of Science & National Medal of Technology and Innovation

UPDATED: Below is the archived video of the event.

President Barack Obama will honor the 2009 recipients of the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in an awards ceremony in the White House’s East Room today at 5:30p.m. EST.

The ceremony will be carried live by webcast on the White House website at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/live. You can also follow live-updates on USPTO’s new Twitter account – @USPTO.

“The extraordinary accomplishments of these scientists, engineers, and inventors are a testament to American industry and ingenuity,” President Obama said.  “Their achievements have redrawn the frontiers of human knowledge while enhancing American prosperity and it is my tremendous pleasure to honor them for their important contributions.”

Secretary Locke Wraps up Fourth Annual Americas Competitiveness Forum in Atlanta

Locke announces 2011 Forum in the Dominican Republic

ACF leaders with Secretary Locke for group photoU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke concluded the Fourth Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF) in Atlanta today, wrapping up two days of discussions with public and private sector leaders from 34 Western Hemisphere nations. The Forum was concluded with the announcement that the Fifth Annual ACF will be held in the Dominican Republic in October 2011.

"As our economy continues to grow, events like the ACF provide excellent opportunities for the business community to showcase new ideas and technologies, explore new markets, and uncover future opportunities for economic growth and job creation," Locke said. “We hope that the hundreds of public and private sector leaders here will leave with new ideas to foster programs, policies, and partnerships that will improve the economic prosperity of our individual countries and ensure a brighter future for all the people of the region.”

This year’s ACF brought together business leaders and policy makers from 34 Western Hemisphere nations to share best practices for enhancing the competitiveness, innovation, and prosperity of the region. Full release

U.S. Companies Invited to Apply to Join Secretary Locke on Upcoming High-Tech Trade Mission to India

India Trade Mission Graphic

UPDATED: The application deadline for the India Trade Mission has been extended to Friday, December 3, 2010.

Earlier this month in Mumbai, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced that he will lead a high-technology trade mission to India next February. The India High Technology Business Development Mission is focused on U.S. companies that offer products or services in the civil nuclear, defense and security, civil aviation, and information communications technology industries and are looking to either expand their current business in India or are interested in entering the market for the first time. 

If you’re interested in participating in the upcoming trade mission, time is running out to apply. If your company meets the participation requirements, complete a mission application by Nov. 30 to join Secretary Locke in New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai this February.  Submitted applications will be reviewed by industry and market experts, and final participants will be selected from the most qualified candidates.  Application status notifications will be sent out Dec. 13.

This business development mission will give U.S. companies access to market information and high-level business and government contacts, helping them to solidify international business strategies and advance their projects.  They will meet with prescreened potential business partners, agents, distributors, representatives and licensees, as well as high-level national and local government officials. The agenda will also include networking opportunities, country briefings and seminars.

Learn more about the India High Technology Business Development Mission on the India Mission 2011 homepage or by contacting the Office of Business Liaison at IndiaMission2011[at]doc[dot]gov or 202-482.1360.