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The Commerce Blog

Secretary Locke Announces Travel and Tourism Advisory Board

Locke gesturing from podium.

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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced his decision to appoint the new members of the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (Board). The board’s new charter expanded membership to include a more diverse and expansive industry representation from private sector participants in the travel and tourism industry. The appointees represent a broad cross-section of the industry including transportation services, financial services, and hotels and restaurants, as well as a mix of small and large firms from across the country. (More) (TTAB Web site) (Member list)

2010 Census 'Portrait of America' Road Tour at Daytona Beach Speedway

No. 16 Ford Fusion with onlookers. Click for larger image.

The 2010 Census is right around the corner, with forms to be mailed in mid-March. Thirteen vehicles are traveling across the country, engaging audiences at events from the Super Bowl to state and county fairs, church functions and community events. From Feb. 11-14, 2010 Census-sponsored No. 16 Ford Fusion, was on display at Daytona International Speedway and will be driven in three upcoming NASCAR races in Atlanta, Ga., Bristol, Tenn. and Martinsville, W.Va. by Greg Biffle. (More) (Road Tour) (Vehicles) (2010 Census Web site)

Secretary Locke Statement on January 2010 Retail Sales Numbers

Department of Commerce seal

The Commerce Department's U.S. Census Bureau today released retail sales data for January 2010. Retail sales increased 0.5 percent compared with an expected rise of 0.3 percent. Retail sales rose 7.6 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter, following a gain of 6.4 percent in the third quarter. (More) (Release)

Secretary Locke Statement on December 2009 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services

Locke speaking from lectern.

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement on the release of the December 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 in December 2009 increased by 3.3 percent to $142.7 billion since November 2009. Imports in December increased 4.8 percent over November to $182.9 billion. Total U.S. exports decreased by 15 percent to $1.55 trillion for 2009 from 2008. The final trade deficit for 2009 was $381 billion with total U.S. imports of $1.93 trillion. (More) (Release)

Commerce Awards Recovery Act Broadband Expansion Grants Totaling More than $20 Million for Virginia

Recovery Acy logo.

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced two grants totaling more than $21.5 million to expand broadband Internet infrastructure in Virginia. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) provides grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas, enhance and expand public computer centers, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. These investments will help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth and create jobs. (More)

Commerce Department Proposes Establishment of NOAA Climate Service

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Individuals and decision-makers across widely diverse sectors—from agriculture energy to transportation—increasingly are asking Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for information about climate change in order to make the best choices for their families, communities and businesses. To meet the rising tide of these requests, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced the intent to create a NOAA Climate Service line office dedicated to bringing together the agency’s strong climate science and service delivery capabilities. (More) (Announcement) (Climate Web site)

Super Bowl XLIV: Census Bureau Facts for Features & Census 2010

Logo of Census 2010. Click to go to official Web site.

Super Bowl XLIV will be played Feb. 7 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., a Miami suburb. To commemorate this occasion, the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau has compiled a collection of facts examining the demographics of the host city, as well as the cities represented by the contenders, in this year’s edition of our nation’s most celebrated sporting event. With the mail-out of 2010 Census and the questionnaires slightly more than a month away, the Census Bureau will run three ads promoting census awareness during the Super Bowl telecast—two during the pregame show and one during the third quarter. (Facts)

Secretary Locke Promotes Renewable Energy Export Opportunities at RETECH 2010

Secretary Locke.

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A day after unveiling the details of the president’s National Export Initiative, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke urged attendees at the Renewable Energy Technology (RETECH) 2010 Conference to explore the export opportunities available for renewable energy technology that can support good paying jobs in a growing sector. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Unveils Details of the National Export Initiative

Locke gesturing with hands from podium. Click for larger image.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke unveiled details of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) today. During last week’s State of the Union speech, the president announced a goal of doubling exports over the next five years to support two million jobs in America. Locke detailed how the Export Initiative will help the country reach that goal—providing more funding, more focus and more cabinet-level coordination to grow U.S. exports. The NEI represents the first time the United States will have a government-wide export-promotion strategy with focused attention from the president and his Cabinet. (More) (Remarks) (C-SPAN video, 1:00 p.m. EST)

NIST's Second 'Quantum Logic Clock' is Now World's Most Precise Clock

Image of clock compared to the size of a quarter. Click for larger image.

Physicists at Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built an enhanced version of an experimental atomic clock based on a single aluminum atom that is now the world’s most precise clock, more than twice as precise as the previous pacesetter based on a mercury atom. The new clock is the second version of NIST’s “quantum logic clock,” so called because it borrows the logical processing used for atoms storing data in experimental quantum computing, another major focus of the same NIST research group. (More)