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The Commerce Blog

Secretary Locke Announces Winners of Presidential Export Awards

U.S. Commerce Secretary Locke honored 21 companies that have excelled in exporting as recipients of the prestigious 2009 Presidential “E” and “E Star” Awards during a ceremony at the National District Export Council Conference. The “E” Award is the highest U.S. Government recognition any U.S. entity may receive for supporting export activity. The Presidential “E” Award was created by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to recognize persons, firms, or organizations that contribute significantly to increasing United States exports. (More) (“E” Award for Exporters)

Secretary Locke Joins President Obama and Administration Officials at White House Tribal Nations Conference

Secretaries Salazar, Vilsack and Locke seen at conference.

Photo-capture from White House Web stream

U.S. Commerce Secretary Locke joined President Obama and high-level administration officials at the White House Tribal Nations Conference to highlight the department’s ongoing efforts to support economic development in Native American communities through the Minority Business Development Agency and other department bureaus. The conference provided leaders from 564 federally-recognized tribes the opportunity to have interactive discussions with administration officials regarding: economic development, public safety, housing, education, health and labor. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Addresses National DEC Conference on Importance of Exporting

District Export Council logo. Click to go to Web site.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spoke at the National District Export Council Conference (DEC). Locke discussed efforts to promote the sale of U.S. goods and services overseas, efforts that will create sustainable economic growth and good-paying jobs. Exporters from around the country discussed trade issues and exporting best practices. This year’s theme was “Global Competitiveness and the Opportunities for U.S. Exporters.” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills, and Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg joined Locke at the conference. (More) (Remarks)

NIST Test Proves 'The Eyes Have It' for ID Verification

Image of human eye.

The eyes may be the mirror to the soul, but the iris reveals a person’s true identity—its intricate structure constitutes a powerful biometric. A new report by computer scientists at Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) demonstrates that iris recognition algorithms can maintain their accuracy and interoperability with compact images, affirming their potential for large-scale identity management applications such as the federal Personal Identity Verification program, cyber security and counterterrorism. (More)

Commerce Secretary Locke Statement on U.S. Tourism and the Emergency Declaration for H1N1 Flu

Department of Commerce seal.

“The October 23 declaration was a precautionary measure to ensure that, if needed, medical treatment facilities in the U.S. will have the tools they need to deal with 2009 H1N1 influenza as efficiently as possible. Without the proper context, I know the declaration may have been a cause for concern among some abroad who had been planning travel to the U.S. But let me be very clear: The measure does not represent any change in status of the H1N1 influenza in our country. It was instead an important procedural tactic to help the government and U.S. medical facilities better handle the illness in the future.” (More)

Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship Now Accepting Nominations for Delegates

Image of video screen. Click to go to entrepreneurship Web site.

In his June “A New Beginning” speech in Cairo, President Obama announced that the U.S. will host a Summit on Entrepreneurship to identify how we can deepen ties between those focused on advancing entrepreneurship in Muslim communities around the world. Today, the Commerce Department’s new Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship begins accepting nominations for delegates to the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship on its website, http://www.entrepreneurship.gov/summit. (More)

NOAA Scientists Undertake In-Flight Study of Global Levels of Greenhouse Gas Distribution

Image of research plane with mountains in the background. Click for larger image.

Scientists from Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began the second phase of a mission that will provide a detailed view of how carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are distributed globally. “Missions such as this one are critical to understanding the impacts of greenhouse gases and particulates,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., NOAA Administrator. “The data collected are also essential to help verify if policies to reduce these heat trapping pollutants are having their intended effect.” (More)

Secretary Locke Announces $8.65 Million in EDA Grants in Four States to Create Jobs, Strengthen the Economy

Economic Development Administration seal. Click to go to EDA Web site.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced $8.65 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants in four states, including Pittsburgh, Penn., Fairmont, W.Va., Davis, W.Va., Roseburg, Ore. and Eagle Pass, Texas. EDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that partners with distressed communities throughout the United States to foster economic growth and job creation.Its mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the global economy.

Secretary Locke and Census Bureau Director Groves Launch "Census In Schools" Program in Baltimore

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Locke, Groves and Congressman Elijah Cummings at microphone. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves will launch “Census in Schools” at a Baltimore school Monday, November 2. The program, “2010 Census: It’s About Us,” gives schools a wide range of free, optional, standards-based lesson plans on subjects related to the census, ranging from math to social studies. The program is designed for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and will reach all 118,000 schools and 56 million students nationwide. (Nov. 2 release) (More) (Fact Sheet-PDF)

China Agrees to Improve Access for U.S. Companies, Reopen Markets and Clamp Down on Internet Piracy at JCCT

Huntsman, Vilsack, Kirk and Locke stand on stage for group photo. Click for larger image.

China agreed to reopen its market to U.S. pork and live swine, remove barriers for American firms to China’s growing clean energy market, and clamp down on Internet piracy at the 20th session of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Hangzhou, China, co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk along with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack led the discussions on key agricultural issues. Shown are Jon Huntsman, U.S. Ambassador to China, Vilsack, Kirk and Locke. (Release: agreements) (Fact sheet: agreements) (Release: JCCT conclusion) (Fact sheet: JCCT conclusion) (U.S. Delegation media availability transcript)