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Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization

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Department of Commerce’s Role in Reconstruction and Stabilization

Objective

To conduct Department of Commerce (DOC) wide planning and execution in response to international contingency operations.  This involves evaluating how the Department as a whole can contribute to the USG efforts abroad in fragile state environments.

Structure

The R&S Office is the DOC’s planning unit for the Civilian Response Corps (CRC) and other contingency response efforts. The U.S. DOC is one of nine participating agencies in the CRC, which is led by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS). The CRC provides the USG with a pool of qualified, trained, and ready-to-deploy U.S. Government professionals to support overseas reconstruction and stabilization (R&S) operations.  The CRC is made up of the following agencies: the Departments of State, Commerce, Agriculture, Justice, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Energy, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The CRC consists of two funded components:

  • The Active Component (CRC-A) members are full-time government employees whose specific job is to train for, prepare, and staff R&S efforts. They are able to deploy within 48 hours. 
  • The Standby Component (CRC-S) members are full-time employees of their departments who have specialized expertise useful in R&S missions and are available to deploy within 30 days in the event of an R&S mission. CRC-S employees will remain in their present positions and will only be called upon in a major crisis as determined by the Secretary of State.

Distribution of DOC CRC

  • CRC-Active (CRC-A) consists of 250 new U.S. Government employees, while CRC-Standby (CRC-S) consists of 2,000 current U.S. Government employees.
  • Commerce will have 5 CRC-A (in ITA-2, CLDP-1, NOAA-1, NTIA-1) and 80 CRC-S (in ITA, NOAA, NTIA, BIS, ESA, PTO, NIST)

The following DOC bureaus are currently participating in the CRC:

  • Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)
  • Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP)
  • International Trade Administration (ITA)
  • Economic and Statistical Administration (ESA)
  • National Institute of  Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
  • United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO)

The R&S Liaison Network

  • The Department of Commerce’s R&S Liaison Network is made up of volunteers from the above bureaus, the Office of the General Counsel, and the Office of the Secretary. The Network was launched in early 2008 and has been critical in mapping Commerce’s R&S capabilities, and facilitating Table Top Experiments and deployments.

Steady-State Efforts

The R&S Office conducts the following:

  • Annual cross-bureau training for DOC CRC and management team;
  • Civilian-military planning and training activities;
  • “Pilot” programs with interagency partners such as SOUTHCOM and S/CRS.

The DOC is the “go-to” USG Agency for challenges and opportunities in the following areas of foreign countries with R&S missions:

  • Building government to government relationships with host nation Ministry-level representatives from trade, industry, and economic development
  • Resolving international trade issues
  • Implementing Commercial Law improvement programs
  • Understanding the economic impact of weather, developing early warning systems to protect communities against natural disasters, and protecting maritime resources
  • Advising host nations on government economic statistical reporting, census, and measures of standards and weights
  • Developing private sector economic growth and job creation strategies
  • Developing telecommunications policies to encourage infrastructure development and to leverage e-commerce, e-government, and educational goals

The DOC has an international presence through several different bureaus:

  • ITA has Foreign Commercial Service Officers in most Embassies and has resident Country Desk expertise
  • NOAA has worldwide weather monitoring capability and participates in a wide variety of international, scientific, technical, policy, and political forums that address ecosystem-based management, climate change, Earth observation, and weather forecasting
  • NTIA routinely participates internationally in U.S. delegations and works directly with foreign colleagues
  • USPTO has IPR Attaches at several U.S. Embassies and Consulates (Bangkok, Beijing, Geneva, Guangzhou, Moscow, New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro).  Its Global Intellectual Property Academy provides training and education to foreign government IP professionals worldwide.

The DOC performs a number of intelligence and national security functions including:

  • Overseeing the export of sensitive information and technology
  • Reviewing the Coastal Zone Management Act for national security impact
  • Assessing the financial health and economic competitiveness of U.S. industries that support defense capabilities and requirements under the Defense Production Act of 1950 and its amendments
  • Supporting measures to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction

Contact Information

Karen Hyun
Senior Adviser
Office of Policy and Strategic Planning
khyun[at]doc[dot]gov
202-482-6005