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The Commerce Blog

Secretary's Statement on March U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services

The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis today released a report on March 2010 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports in March 2010 increased by 3.2 percent to $147.9 billion from their February 2010 level. Imports in March increased 3.1 percent over February to $188.3 billion.

“The rise in imports shows increasing consumer confidence in America's economic recovery,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “It's heartening to see a corresponding increase in exports.

“This administration is focused on helping American businesses take advantage of the worldwide recovery underway, ramping up trade advocacy on all fronts – from providing credit to small businesses that want to export to increasing the number of trade experts who will help U.S. companies find buyers abroad to the continued rigorous enforcement of our trade laws.” (Full statement)

Senior Adviser Wade Meets with Business Leaders in Pennsylvania

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Wade touring manufacturing facilityRick Wade, senior adviser and Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, met with local businesses in Williamsport, Penn., today as part of a national tour taking him to Main Streets across America to hear from business leaders about the challenges they face and to take their ideas and concerns back to Washington. Wade participated in a roundtable discussion, a luncheon, and toured a local manufacturing facility.

Secretary Locke Holds Exports Town Hall with Northern Virginia Businesses

Image of ITA Exports reportU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited the Precision Auto Care international corporate headquarters training facility in Leesburg, Va., to discuss President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and how it can help U.S. companies of all sizes sell more of their goods and services overseas and support the creation of American jobs. Locke was joined by U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf. The NEI aims to double U.S. exports over the next five years while supporting two million American jobs.

Secretaries Locke and Donovan Tour Nashville, Memphis Flood-Damaged Areas

Locke with residentsAt the request of President Barack Obama, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan toured areas affected by the recent flooding in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., today. The secretaries assessed the damage, talked to residents and discussed long-term recovery plans with local elected officials and community leaders. The secretaries toured the impacted areas and held brief press availabilities in each city.

NOAA: Above-Normal Temperatures and Below-Normal Precipitation in April

Graphic of temperature mapNOAA's State of the Climate report shows the April 2010 average temperature for the contiguous United States was 54.3 degress F, which is 2.3 degrees F above the long-term (1901-2000) average (14th-warmest April on record). April's average precipitation was 2.18 inches, 0.25 inch below the 1901-2000 average, based on a 116-year record since 1895, this monthly analysis is prepared by scientists at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. (Release) (Temperature graphic) (Precipitation graphic)

2010 Census Advertising Named Multicultural and Best Branded Campaign of the Year

The U.S. Census Bureau is being recognized by Mediaweek, a leading advertising industry trade publication, for its 2010 Census advertising campaign—winning both the “Best Multicultural Campaign” and “Best Branded Content” awards in the publication’s Media Plan of the Year competition. The primary purpose of the advertising efforts were to educate and motivate households to mail back their 2010 Census forms when they arrived in March—more than 72 percent of America participated by mail, matching the rate from the last census in 2000. (Release)

Secretary Locke, Secretary Napolitano and Administrator Lubchenco Visit Gulf Coast

Trajectory mapAt the direction of President Obama, Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco visited the Gulf Coast to meet with federal, state and local officials, and local business leaders as part of their continued oversight of BP’s efforts to plug the leak and contain the spill, and their ongoing emphasis on interagency coordination in response to the event. All three officials traveled to Biloxi, Miss. Locke and Napolitano continued on to Pensacola, Fla., in the afternoon. (NOAA-Deepwater) (Current trajectory map—PDF) (Incident News)

NOAA: Deepwater Horizon Incident, Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Update

Photo of Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill from NASA Satellite

Improving weather today allowed both NOAA overflights and dispersant operations to resume. Today, four aircraft applied dispersants to the surface slick, and dispersant application by vessels is expected to begin tomorrow. Monitoring of the dispersant efforts are ongoing. NOAA overflights were conducted over the source as well as south from Mobile. At present, technical specialists and other personnel from many agencies and organizations are assisting NOAA in providing scientific support for the spill response. (Incident News)

Report on Gross Domestic Product Statistics for Four U.S. Territories Released

Click for larger image. Pictured: Nikolao Pula, Director of the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior; Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; Pictured: Rebecca M Blank, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, U.S. Department of Commerce;  Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho, Northern Mariana Islands; Rep. Madeleine Bordallo, Guam; Rep. Eni Faleomavaega, America Samoa; Rep. Donna Christensen, Virgin Islands; Steve Landefeld, Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce.

The U.S. Department of Commerce released newly-developed Gross Domestic Product (GDP) statistics for American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The statistics are a product of a joint effort of the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Interior Department’s Office of Insular Affairs. Policy makers will now have an objective view of the size of these economies, their growth or contraction, and their major components in order to conduct economic-impact analysis on the effects of local and national policy decisions. (More)

Secretary Locke Joins HHS Secretary Sebelius for Web Chat on New Benefits in Affordable Care Act

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined Health and Human Services Secretary Kathlee

Image: HHS Web chat

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for a live Web chat today on a new reinsurance program that will help U.S. firms cover the health care costs of their early retirees. The program makes available $5 billion of financial assistance to businesses, state and local governments and unions to help them cover health care costs for those 55 and older not yet eligible for Medicare. The Web chat is available on-demand here. For more information, visit http://www.healthreform.gov/. (healthreform.gov en español) (White House health care Web site) (Fact sheet) (DOC May 4 release) (Secretary Sebelius May 4 release)