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The Commerce Blog

NOAA Issues Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, Encourages Preparedness

Secretary Locke and officials at airport with NOAA plane in background. Click for alrger image

Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters say a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year. However, as with any season, the need to prepare for the possibility of a storm striking is essential. “Today, more than 35 million Americans live in regions most threatened by Atlantic hurricanes,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said at a Washington, D.C. area airport. “Timely and accurate warnings of severe weather help save lives and property. Public awareness and public preparedness are the best defenses against a hurricane.” (More)

NIST Defining the Expanding World of Cloud Computing

Image of laptop computer.

Photo: Shutterstock

A working definition for cloud computing—a new computer technique with potential for achieving significant cost savings and information technology agility—has been released by a team of computer security experts at Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Since the federal government is considering cloud computing as a component of its new technology infrastructure, it is NIST’s role to evaluate it and then promote its effective and secure use within government and industry by providing technical guidance and developing standards. (More)

USPTO to Hold On-Line Chat for Independent Inventors

Photo of USPTO campus.

USPTO Alexandria campus

Senior officials of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will be available live on-line Thursday, May 21, 2009 from 2 to 3 pm (EDT). They will be answering questions and offering tips for independent inventors. Instructions for taking part in the on-line chat will be posted on the home page of the USPTO web site at 10 AM (EDT) Thursday. Inventors can begin logging on for the chat at 1:30 pm. The independent inventor on-line chat is part of the USPTO’s continuing effort to promote and protect America’s independent inventor community. (More)

President Obama Proclaims World Trade Week

Official White House logo.

In a proclamation from the White House, President Barack Obama declared “World Trade Week is an opportunity to reaffirm the benefits of trade and to emphasize America's commitment to a global marketplace that creates good jobs and lifts up American families. The United States and our trading partners stand to gain when trade is open, transparent, rules-based, and fair, showing respect for labor and environmental standards. The United States is well-positioned to reap the benefits of trade. America is a leader in the global marketplace and ranks at the top of almost every measure of global competitiveness.” World Trade Week is May 17-23. (Presidential Proclamation) (Secretary Locke Remarks)

NOAA Report: Four Fish Stocks Declared Fully Rebuilt

Monkfish in buckets. Click for larger image.

NOAA’s Fisheries Service of the Commerce Department reported to Congress that four stocks—Atlantic bluefish, Gulf of Mexico king mackerel and two stocks of monkfish in the Atlantic—have been rebuilt to allow for continued sustainable fishing. This is the largest number of stocks to be declared rebuilt in a single year since the fisheries service declared the first stock successfully rebuilt in 2001. “Rebuilding these four stocks so they can support the highest sustainable harvest for future generations of Americans is a significant milestone,” said Jim Balsiger, acting NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. (More)

Locke, Chu Announce Significant Steps in Smart Grid Development

Chu, Locke ande Arnold at White House press conference. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced significant progress that will help expedite development of a nationwide “smart” electric power grid. A Smart Grid would replace the current, outdated system and employ real-time, two-way communication technologies to allow users to connect directly with power suppliers. The development of the grid will create jobs and spur the development of innovative products that can be exported. Once implemented, the Smart Grid is expected to save consumers money and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil by improving efficiency and spurring the use of renewable energy sources. (More)

Commerce Secretary Locke Participates in Port of Seattle Terminal 30 Grand Opening

Photo of ribbon cutting ceremony. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke returned to Washington state for a ceremony marking the rebuilt Terminal 30 at the Port of Seattle. He joined officials from the port, China Shipping–including its president Li Shaode. In his remarks, the Secretary said “I believe this port is another step in bringing our two nations closer together, a step that will ultimately improve the quality of life for both peoples.”

Secretary Locke Statement on National Travel and Tourism Week

Photo of Gary Locke.

File Photo

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke released the following statement on the observance of National Travel and Tourism Week: “Last year, a record 58 million travelers visited the United States to conduct business, see family and friends, and experience our big cities, small towns and incredible natural wonders. As we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, we are reminded that the industry benefits every state and U.S. territory, employing more than eight million workers across the country.” (More)

Secretary Locke Meets with Korea's Trade Minister Kim Jong-Hoon

Locke and Kim at conference table with aides. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a meeting with South Korea’s Minister for Trade Kim Jong-Hoon at the Commerce Department, the first meeting between Minister Kim and Secretary Locke. Locke and Kim recognized the importance of the $83 billion in goods trade between the two countries in 2008. They expressed support for continuing to deepen cooperation on trade and investment issues. “Korea, with a $1 trillion economy, is our eighth largest export market, and the Department of Commerce is committed to ensuring that U.S. companies can compete and win in this vibrant Asian market,” said Secretary Locke. (More)

Secretary Locke Statement on March 2009 Trade Numbers

Department of Commerce seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke issued the following statement on the release of the March 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 decreased by 2.4 percent to $123.6 billion since February 2009. Imports decreased 1.0 percent to $151.2 billion. Overall, the trade deficit grew 5.5 percent during the same time period. “Today’s numbers are better than many economists predicted, and it’s worth noting that the trade deficit is half of what it was in the first quarter of 2008.” (More) (Fact Sheet)