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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.

U.S. Census Bureau Releases First of Three Major December Data Releases

Total Population by Age: April 1, 2010The U.S. Census Bureau today released its 2010 Demographic Analysis estimates at a news conference at George Washington University – the first of three major Census Bureau releases in December. The data involve five series of national-level estimates of the population by age, sex, two race groups (black and non-black) and Hispanic origin (for under age 20). Demographic Analysis attempts to estimate the national population of 2010 but uses a very different technique than is used for the 2010 Census. Demographic Analysis estimates are developed from historical vital statistics and estimates of international migration. Separate from 2010 Census counts, these estimates provide one way of measuring the size of the U.S. population and will be used to analyze the 2010 Census results coming later this month.

On Dec. 14, the Census Bureau will also release American Community Survey (ACS) data for the 5-year period from 2005 to 2009. The ACS is a sample survey sent to 3 million households every year that provides vital social, economic, housing and demographic characteristics about our country. This is the first set of 5-year estimates for the ACS, which every year will produce more than 11 billion pieces of data covering some 670,000 geographical areas, including every county and community in the country.

Finally, by Dec. 31 as required by law, the Census Bureau will report the first set of data from the 2010 Census: the national and state populations as well as the apportionment of seats to each state in the U.S. House of Representatives. See today’s Demographic Analysis press release and the complete Demographic Analysis tables. Visit http://www.census.gov/ to learn more about upcoming Census releases.

Commerce Department’s Clean Technology Trade & Investment Mission Moves to Brussels, Belgium

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Brian McGowan (right) meets with U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman at the Ambassador’s residence during the U.S. Cleantech Trade and Investment Mission to Belgium.U.S. community and business delegates participating in the joint U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA)/International Trade Administration (ITA) Clean Technology Trade & Investment Mission moved on to Brussels, Belgium on Thursday after spending three very productive days exploring opportunities to increase exports and attract foreign direct investment in the United States while in Lyon, France at Pollutec, a tradeshow that featured the world's leading international exhibit for the environment and sustainable development markets. 

Upon arriving in Brussels, the delegation participated in a reception hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman at the Ambassador’s residence.  The event, hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce Brussels (AmCham) and Xerox gave the delegates an opportunity to make important international connections with companies involved in the clean technology sector.

Ambassador Gutman; AmCham President Scot Beardsley; EDA Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Brian McGowan; and Xerox Director of Global Services Phillipe Janssens addressed the delegation during the function.

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)

Commerce Official Says Online Consumer Privacy is Critical to a Strong Digital Economy

Both industry and public interest groups agree that online consumer privacy should be strengthened, said Daniel Weitzner, NTIA’s Associate Administrator for Policy. Speaking in Washington D.C. today, Weitzner said that public response to the Commerce Department’s inquiry into online privacy underscores the need to bolster privacy in a manner that continues to ensure the Web remains a platform for innovation, jobs, and economic growth.

Weitzner said that the Commerce Department’s decision to address online privacy and other Internet policy issues stems from the significant and growing social and economic contributions that the Internet makes to our lives. For example, domestic online transactions are currently estimated to total $3.5 trillion annually, and digital commerce is a leading source of job growth.  “Preserving consumer trust is essential to the sustainability and continued growth of the digital economy,” said  Weitzner.

Based on stakeholder feedback gained through the Commerce Department’s inquiry, Weitzner outlined an approach that can promote innovation while increasing consumer trust, including committing to baseline privacy principles and convening stakeholders to develop voluntary but enforceable codes of conduct to implement those principles.

Commerce Department’s Clean Technology Trade & Investment Mission Kicks off in France

Community and Business Delegates of the EDA/ITA Clean Technology Trade and Investment Mission in Lyon, France, with U.S. Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Brian McGowan.The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Commercial Service kicked off its Clean Technology Trade & Investment Mission in Lyon, France, on Monday at Pollutec, a tradeshow that features the world's leading international exhibit for the environment and sustainable development markets. 

The Clean Technology Trade & Investment Mission brings together a mix of U.S. community delegates and businesses to explore overseas opportunities to increase U.S. exports and attract foreign direct investment to the United States, with a focus on advancing the green economy and creating jobs at home. The week-long trip will conclude in Brussels, Belgium, where the delegation will attend a U.S. Embassy reception, NATO cleantech roundtable, and other networking opportunities.

The mission supports President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to help U.S. firms sell their goods and services abroad with a goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years in support of several million American jobs.

Click here to read the press release.

2010 Baldrige Award Winners Include 3 Small Businesses and 7 Total Organizations

Secretary Locke announced the recipients of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award today – the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership. The 2010 Baldrige Award recipients were selected from a field of 83 applicants and rigorously evaluated by an independent board of examiners in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results.

This year’s awards mark the first time that three small businesses have been selected at one time and only the second instance in the award’s 23-year history that a total of seven organizations are being honored. The 2010 Baldrige Award recipients are expected to be presented with their awards at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., next year.

The 2010 Baldrige Award recipients – listed with their category – are:

  • MEDRAD, Warrendale, Pa. (manufacturing)
  • Nestle Purina PetCare Co., St. Louis, Mo. (manufacturing)
  • Freese and Nichols Inc., Fort Worth, Texas (small business)
  • K&N Management, Austin, Texas (small business)
  • Studer Group, Gulf Breeze, Fla. (small business)
  • Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove, Ill. (health care)
  • Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Md. (education)

Read the press release and learn more about the Baldrige Award.

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