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The Commerce Blog

Secretary Locke Announces Administration's New Initiative to Aid American Businesses

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced a new Obama Administration initiative designed to streamline government bureaucracy and bring services and solutions directly to businesses and entrepreneurs creating and sustaining jobs. Locke made his announcement at the Detroit Economic Club’s National Summit. The new initiative will be launched this summer in the Detroit area. Responding both to President Obama’s call to make government more responsive and a once-in-a-generation economic crisis, Locke initiated the effort after seeing how complicated it can be to navigate the alphabet soup of Commerce agencies and programs. (More) (Remarks)

Report Released on National, Regional Impacts of Global Climate Change

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A new report, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,” compiles years of scientific research and takes into account new data not available during the preparation of previous large national and global assessments. It was produced by a consortium of experts from13 U.S. government science agencies and from several major universities and research institutes. A product of the interagency U.S. Global Change Research Program, the definitive 190-page report, produced under NOAA’s leadership, is written in plain language to better inform members of the public and policymakers. (More) (Report Information)

Secretary Locke Meets with Korea's Minister of Knowledge Economy, Signs Memorandum of Understanding

Secretary Locke and Minister Lee are pictured signing document with U.S. and South Korean flags in background. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a meeting and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on commercial cooperation with Korea’s Minister of Knowledge Economy Mr. Lee Youn Ho at the Commerce Department today. This was the first meeting between the Secretary and Minister Lee. Secretary Locke and Minister Lee confirmed the importance of further strengthening the U.S.-Korea commercial relationship and continuing to deepen cooperation on trade and investment issues. (More)

NIST Seeks Proposals for $20 Million Recovery Act Program

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The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced that it is establishing a financial assistance program to help selected institutions develop and implement a NIST measurement science and engineering fellowship program. The new program is funded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. "Measurement science and engineering research is critical to fostering innovation," NIST Deputy Director Patrick Gallagher said. "This fellowship program will create jobs and promote long-term investments in the nation's science infrastructure, which is important for future economic prosperity." (More)

FCC and Commerce's NTIA Offer Continuing Consumer Assistance for DTV Transition

DTV Converter Box Coupon logo. Click to go to dtv2009.gov Web site.

As the nation concludes its transition to digital television today, the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration will continue providing consumer assistance after the June 12 transition. TV converter box coupons will be available to consumers who apply until July 31, while supplies last. In addition, the FCC is offering assistance over the phone and free in-home installation for consumers in most areas.

One Day Until DTV Transition

On the eve of an historic technological transition to digital television, the focus for the two federal agencies managing the switch is on helping Americans who are at risk of losing their TV signals. The digital TV (DTV) transition began over two decades ago as engineers set an ambitious technological goal: moving broadcast television into the digital age. Efficient digital technology would provide consumers with a better picture and sound and more channels, while at the same time clearing valuable airwaves to meet the explosive demand for advanced wireless services, including first-responder radio. (More) (6-10 C-SPAN White House video and Transcript)

NIST, DOD, Intelligence Agencies Join Forces to Secure U.S. Cyber Infrastructure

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Photo: Shutterstock

Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD), the Intelligence Community (IC), and the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS), has released the first installment of a three-year effort to build a unified information security framework for the entire federal government. Historically, information systems at civilian agencies have operated under different security controls than military and intelligence information systems. This ongoing effort is consistent with President Obama’s call for “integrating all cybersecurity policies for the government” in his May 29 speech on securing the U.S. cybersecurity infrastructure. (More)

Secretary Locke Statement on May 2009 Retail Trade Numbers

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File Photo

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement on the release of the May 2009 U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales. Today’s report showed that U.S. nominal retail sales rose 0.5% in May. Motor vehicle and parts sales also rose 0.5% in May. Gasoline sales increased 3.6%, partly reflecting the renewed rise in prices, while other sales edged up 0.1%. “Today’s numbers reflect improving consumer confidence. The Recovery Act is making life a little easier for families and businesses, and there are early signs of progress across the country. But May sales are still below their first-quarter average, reminding us of how difficult the economic environment remains.” (More) (Report)

NOAA: U.S. Contiguous States Temperature Warmer Than Average for May

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The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that the May 2009 temperature for the contiguous United States was above the long-term average, based on records going back to 1895, according to an analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Centerin Asheville, N.C. The average May temperature of 62.5 degrees F was 1.4 degrees F above the 20th century average. Precipitation across the contiguous United States in May averaged 3.22 inches, which is 0.35 inch above the 1901-2000 average. (More)

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Statement on Trade Numbers

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement on the release of the April 2009 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services that showed that U.S. exports decreased by 2.3 percent to $121.1 billion since March 2009. Imports decreased 1.4 percent to $150.3 billion. Overall, the trade deficit grew 2.2 percent during the same time period. “Today’s numbers remind us just how challenging the world economic environment is.That’s why it’s important we continue supporting American businesses by removing trade barriers and encouraging other countries to resist protectionist impulses.” (More)