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The Commerce Blog

Secretary Locke Sets the Stage for U.S.-China JCCT at Georgetown Policy Conference

This week, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will convene the 21st annual U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), which is our most important bilateral dialogue for resolving trade and investment issues between the two nations.

To help set the stage for this meeting, Secretary Locke recently convened a full-day policy conference at Georgetown University exploring the U.S.-China Commercial relationship -- with most discussion panels focusing on finding ways to resolve the trade disputes that animate so much of the coverage of U.S.-China commercial interaction. 

It is an important discussion. China is the United States’ second-largest trading partner, with our bilateral trade in goods alone amounting to $365 billion last year. And U.S. exports to China are up more than 24 percent since 2008. Moreover, China and the U.S. are currently partnering to find solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems, including climate change and energy security.

For that reason, Secretary Locke made clear that the U.S. government welcomed continued strong growth in China as a way for China to improve the well-being of its citizens. As more and more Chinese move into the middle class, they will want world-class, American-made goods and that will mean more jobs here in the U.S. as our companies work to meet that demand.  

Acting Deputy Secretary Blank Speaks at U.S. Chamber on Impact of Women in Business on the Economy

Acting Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank Addresses the CrowdU.S. Commerce Acting Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank discussed women in business at a forum today at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Blank highlighted key findings from a recent Commerce Department report on “Women-Owned Businesses in the 21st Century,” produced by the department’s Economics and Statistics Administration, and addressed the prospects and opportunities of starting a business in today’s economy.  

The Women in Business Forum included a series of remarks and panels with successful women from the public and private sectors. Learn more about the Commerce Department report on women-owned businesses

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U.S. Census Bureau Releases First Set of 5-Year American Community Survey Estimates

American Community Survey graphicThe U.S. Census Bureau today released 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) estimates for the first time, making available social, economic, housing and demographic statistics for every community in the nation.

Until now, small geographic areas had to rely on outdated 2000 Census figures for detailed information about the characteristics of their communities. Consisting of about 11.1 billion individual estimates and covering more than 670,000 distinct geographies, the 5-year ACS estimates give even the smallest communities more timely information on topics ranging from commute times to languages spoken at home to housing values.

Public officials, including mayors and governors, and private organizations such as chambers of commerce, rely on ACS estimates on education, housing, jobs, veteran status and commuting patterns to help them make informed decisions that will affect their community, such as where to build new schools, hospitals and emergency services.

The extensive data are based on a rolling annual sample survey mailed to about 3 million addresses between Jan. 1, 2005, and Dec. 31, 2009. By pooling several years of survey responses, the ACS generates detailed statistical portraits of smaller geographies.

Separate from the 2010 Census, ACS estimates complement the decennial count and provide estimates of population characteristics that are far more detailed than the basic demographic information that will be released from the 2010 Census starting in February.  |  Noticias en español

Exports Can Spur Our Economy

UPS CEO Scott Davis and Secretary Gary LockePost co-authored by Scott Davis, UPS Chairman and CEO, and Secretary Gary Locke

Robust and global trade drives the world’s economic engine.  And it’s the quickest and surest way we know to accelerate economic growth, create new jobs and improve living standards. 

Now we freely admit that UPS has an interest here.  At any given moment, UPS handles 6 percent of the U.S. GDP and moves 2 percent of the global GDP.  So global trade is important to the future of UPS, and that holds true for its workers, and for workers across America.  Every 22 packages per day that cross a border supports one job in UPS’s package operation.

That’s why UPS is so supportive of President Obama’s recent announcement of a landmark trade deal with South Korea, which is estimated to increase American economic output by more than the last nine trade agreements combined.

UPS’s logistics and lending services empower businesses of all sizes to export their goods and services virtually anywhere in the world, and with the impending passage of this agreement, there will be a lot more businesses to work with. 

Secretary Locke Joins President Obama and CEOs to Discuss Progress on the National Export Initiative and Export Control

Secretary Locke Joins President Obama and CEOs to Discuss Progress on the National Export Initiative and Export ControlU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke attended the President’s Export Council (PEC) meeting at the White House today, where he updated PEC members on the Commerce Department’s efforts to increase U.S. exports and help American businesses compete globally.

During the meeting, the president announced proposed regulations to reform the U.S. export control system and strengthen national security.  The Commerce Department’s proposed regulations for dual-use items will facilitate more robust secure trade with our partners and allies while imposing new safeguards to ensure that sensitive items are not exported to other locations without U.S. government authorization. 

In addition, the administration launched a new webpage at www.export.gov that will help small- and medium-sized business comply with U.S. export control requirements by consolidating, for the first time, the various screening lists maintained by different departments.

The President also reiterated the critical importance of export promotion in spurring job creation and economic growth in the U.S.  For more information on the president’s announcement, please go to: http://bit.ly/hoSGZv.

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.

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.