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The Commerce Blog

Secretary Locke Statement on Trade Numbers

Department of Commerce seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement on the release of the June 2009 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports increased by 2 percent to $125.8 billion, which closely tracked the increase in imports, which rose 2.3 percent to $152.8 billion. The trade gap widened to $27 billion from $26 billion, better than analysts’ expectations. (More) (Release) (Fact Sheet)

Novel Temperature Calibration Improves NIST Microhotplate Technology

Image of microhotplate. Click for larger image.

Researchers at the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new calibration technique that will improve the reliability and stability of one of NIST’s most versatile technologies, the microhotplate. The novel NIST device is being developed as the foundation for miniature yet highly accurate gas sensors that can detect chemical and biological agents, industrial leaks and even signs of extraterrestrial life from aboard a planetary probe. (More)

Study: Better Observations, Analyses Detecting Short-Lived Tropical Systems

Satellite image of Tropical Storm Chantal forming south of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Click for larger image.

A NOAA-led team of scientists has found that the apparent increase in the number of tropical storms and hurricanes since the late 19th and early 20th centuries is likely attributable to improvements in observational tools and analysis techniques that better detect short-lived storms. The new study shows that short-lived tropical storms and hurricanes, defined as lasting two days or less, have increased from less than one per year to about five per year from 1878 to 2008. (More)

Secretary Locke Discusses Americas Competitiveness Forum at Council of the Americas

Secretary Locke seated at table.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke delivered remarks at the Council of the Americas extolling private sector companies to participate in the Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF). He was joined by Chilean Ambassador José Goñi and Americas Society and Council of the Americas President and CEO, Susan Segal. The ACF is the preeminent commercial forum in our hemisphere and presents leaders from the private sector, government, non-profit organizations, and academia with an opportunity to discuss competitiveness issues in the Western Hemisphere. The 2009 ACF will be held in Santiago, Chile, from September 27-29, 2009. (Remarks)

NOAA Joins Other U.S. Agencies and Canada to Survey Arctic Continental Shelf

Image of U.S. and Canada Coast Guard icebreakers side by side. Click for larger image.

The Department of Commerce’s National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will join a multi-agency joint expedition that will bring together icebreakers from the U.S. and Canada to collect and share data useful to both countries in defining the full extent of the Arctic continental shelf. The Arctic survey is part of the multi-year, multi-agency effort undertaken by the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project, led by the Department of State, with vice co-chairs from the Department of the Interior and NOAA. NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research provided key funding for the U.S. mission. (More)

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Visits Tampa for Town Hall and NABJ Convention

Locke speaking before audience with Census 2010 logo.

File Photo

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited Tampa today to hold a town hall meeting on trade and discuss the 2010 Census at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Annual Convention. The town hall was held at the Tampa Port Authority, where Locke and local business leaders addressed the Department’s trade priorities and the administration’s commitment to grow U.S. exports across the economy. At the NABJ convention, Locke emphasized the importance of Census participation and the critical role journalists can play increasing awareness about the decennial count. (Remarks)

Dennis F. Hightower Confirmed as Deputy Secretary of Commerce

Image of flag flying from facade of U.S. Department of Commerce's Herbert Clark Hoover Building

The U.S. Senate confirmed Dennis F. Hightower as Deputy Secretary of Commerce by unanimous consent. Hightower, a seasoned business executive with a 40-year career in the public and private sectors, takes over general management of the Department of Commerce, an organization with nearly 38,000 employees and an operating budget of over $17 billion. “I am grateful to the Senate for moving quickly to confirm Dennis Hightower, and I’m thrilled to have him on board.” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “His management expertise and strong leadership skills will be a valuable asset to the Commerce team as we work to make American businesses more competitive and strengthen the economy. (More)

Secretary Locke Statement on Confirmation of David Kappos as Patent and Trade Director

Campus of USPTO in Alexandria, Virginia.

The U.S. Senate today confirmed David Kappos as the new Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement: “We are grateful to the Senate for its swift confirmation of David Kappos to lead the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It’s no secret that the agency currently faces significant and persistent challenges, but David is the right person to meet them and carry out my top priority for the USPTO—dramatically reducing the unacceptably long time it takes to process patent applications.” (More)

Secretary Locke Statement on July Unemployment Numbers

Secretary Locke on podium.

File Photo

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement on today’s release of the July 2009 unemployment numbers by the Labor Department. The report showed that the jobless rate dropped to 9.4 percent from 9.5 percent. "Today's news that the rate of job loss is declining is a welcome sign that our economy is no longer in freefall. But we know that millions of families are still struggling. A 9.4 percent unemployment rate remains unacceptable, and this administration will not be satisfied until people are getting back to work.” (More)

BEA: Personal Income Growth for Metropolitan Areas Slows in 2008 Over 2007

Map of U.S. indicating percent change of personal income.

Personal income growth slowed in 2008 in most of the nation's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), according to estimates released today by the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Personal income growth slowed in 322 MSAs, increased in 42, and remained unchanged in 2 MSAs. On average, MSA personal income grew 3.3 percent in 2008, down from 6.0 percent in 2007. Advance metropolitan area income estimates for 2008 are available interactively on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov/regional/reis/ and select table AMSA. (More)