Commerce.gov is getting a facelift soon. See the new design.
Syndicate content

The Commerce Blog

Secretary Lock Gives Keynote at MED Week, Follows White House Event for National MED Week Awardees

MED Week logo. Click to go to MED Week Web site.

Secretary Gary Locke laid out the Obama Administration’s strategy to expand opportunities for minority businesses. In his keynote, Locke outlined how the President’s Recovery Act is giving businesses access to billions of dollars in loan guarantees, and how it seeks to reorient America’s energy policy towards providing new manufacturing jobs in clean energy. Locke called for reform of the healthcare system so that small- and medium-sized businesses can better afford health benefits for their workers. On Wednesday, Secretary Locke and Vice President Joe Biden congratulated the 2009 National Excellence in Minority Business Award Winners at a reception at the White House. (Remarks)

Statement From Undersecretary Blank on Second Estimate of GDP in Second Quarter of 2009

Department of Commerce seal.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis today released the second estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter of 2009. Real GDP declined at a 1.0-percent annual rate, unchanged from the advance estimate. Most analysts had expected a larger drop of 1.5 percent. “The economy’s better than expected performance in the 2nd quarter suggests that it is beginning to stabilize,” U.S. Commerce Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank said. (More) (BEA Release)

Statement from Under Secretary for Economic Affairs on July 2009 New Home Sales

Portrait of Under Secretary Blank.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of the Census today released new home sales data for July 2009. Sales of new single-family houses rose 9.6 percent, a far stronger gain than the expected rise of 1.6 percent. Sales have risen 31.6 percent above their low in January of this year. “These new numbers are another sign that we have put the brakes on the worst economic downturn in generations,” U.S Commerce Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank said. (More) (July Residential Sales Release)

Secretary Locke Reads "To the Top!" with DC Grade School Students

Locke seated and holding book while children look on. Click for larger image.

At lunchtime, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Donovan and Education Secretary Duncan participated in the Department of Education’s summer reading initiative, “Read to the Top!” During the reading, Secretary Locke read, “Those Shoes,” a picture book by Maribeth Boelts to a group of District of Columbia grade school students. The Department has partnered with community organizations nationwide to combat summer reading loss in response to President Obama’s national volunteer campaign, “United We Serve,” which challenges all Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful service to meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn.

Who Are You? Mobile ID Devices Find Out Using NIST Guidelines

Image of person holding a PDA. Click for larger image.

A new publication that recommends best practices for the next generation of portable biometric acquisition devices—Mobile ID—has been published by Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Devices that gather, process and transmit an individual’s biometric data—fingerprints, facial and iris images—for identification are proliferating. Previous work on standards for these biometric devices has focused primarily on getting different stationary and desktop systems with hard-wired processing pathways to work together in an interoperable manner. But a new generation of small, portable and versatile biometric devices are raising new issues for interoperability. (More)

Earvin "Magic" Johnson to Keynote MBDA's Annual MED Week Conference

Earvin “Magic” Johnson will keynote the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Conference in Washington, August 26-28. Also participating as speakers will be U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, new MBDA National Director David Hinson, and Small Business Administration Administrator Karen G. Mills. The conference will focus on fostering innovation, competitiveness and opportunities for minority businesses to retool and rebuild America’s infrastructure under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. (More) (Registration)

Locke Addresses U.S.-UAE Business Council, Highlights Promising Economic Opportunities

Locke behind lectern with flags behind him.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the US-UAE Business Council about the bilateral economic and security relationship that has continued to develop between the emirates and the United Sates. Secretary Locke addressed the promising business opportunities available to U.S. firms resulting from a proposed civilian nuclear arrangement. He also explained how the proposed agreement might serve as a model for civilian nuclear cooperation between the U.S. and other Middle Eastern nations. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Announces $40 Million in ARRA Projects to Support Efficient Marine Navigation and Create Jobs

Captain Barnum and Secretary Locke on pier. Click for larger image.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke announced in Norfolk, Va. $40 million for critical hydrographic survey and chart projects across the United States that strengthen the economy, create jobs, and support safe and efficient marine commerce and trade. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will allocate $32 million to utilize hydrographic surveying contractors to collect data in critical coastal areas which are used to map the seafloor and update nautical charts. (More) (Remarks)

Secretaries Locke, Napolitano and Sebelius Announce Flu Season Guidance for Business and Employers

Cabinet secretaries on stage anouncing guidelines. Click for video of press conference.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a joint news conference to announce new federal guidelines to help employers and businesses prepare for and respond to the upcoming flu season. The event is part of the federal government’s continuing efforts to prepare Americans for an influenza season that will include the H1N1 flu. Rear Admiral Stephen Redd from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Labor Deputy Secretary Seth Harris will also be on hand to answer questions. (More on Guidance) (Press Conference Video)

Under Secretary Blank Statement on July 2009 Residential Construction Numbers

Portrait of Under Secretary Blank.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of the Census released data on new residential construction in July. Starts for single-family homes increased 1.7 percent, while overall permits to build privately-owned housing units declined 1.8 percent and housing starts decreased 1.0 percent. Despite the overall decrease, total permits have risen 12.4 percent from their low in April, after plummeting a total of 78.0 percent between September 2005 and April 2009. Additionally, total starts have increased 21.3 percent, after falling 78.9 percent from their peak in January 2006 to their low in April 2009. (More) (July Residential Construction Release)