Each week, we recap the latest U.S. Department of Commerce highlights spanning a wide range of issues promoting job creation and economic growth, programs, and events in one blog post.
Here are the key moments from Commerce: This Week
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
Op-Ed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross: The Census Bureau is Not Shortchanging the Count
“The U.S. Census Bureau is well on its way to delivering a complete and accurate 2020 Census. I am proud to oversee this essential activity which is clearly outlined in the United States Constitution. Critics claim incorrectly that the Census Bureau is shortchanging the count. This is not an accurate depiction of the current state of the 2020 Census, which is on its way to delivering a successful count in every community across the nation,” wrote Secretary Ross, Fox Business.
On August 17, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the appointment of Robert Tipton (Tip) Osterthaler to serve as Chair of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) Board. He will succeed Edward D. Horowitz, who is completing his two-year term as Chair on August 19, 2020. Horowitz plans to remain on the Board until his term expires in August 2021.
Since the beginning of the Trump Administration, the Economic Development Administration has invested nearly $600 million in 415 Opportunity Zone projects across the country, creating jobs, catalyzing hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment, and transforming America’s distressed communities.
On August 17, the Bureau of Industry and Security in the Department of Commerce further restricted access by Huawei Technologies and its non-U.S. affiliates on the Entity List to items produced domestically and abroad from U.S. technology and software. In addition, BIS added another 38 Huawei affiliates to the Entity List, which imposes a license requirement for all items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and modified four existing Huawei Entity List entries.
On August 20, the National Academy of Public Administration released their Congressionally directed study, “Space Traffic Management: Assessment of the Feasibility, Expected Effectiveness, and Funding Implications of a Transfer of Space Traffic Management Functions.” The findings reaffirm that the Office of Space Commerce at the Department of Commerce is the best suited civil agency to perform Space Traffic Management (STM) tasks. The Panel unanimously requests that Congress immediately enact the authorities and appropriations required for OSC to carry out this critical mission.
On August 21, Chief of Staff Michael Walsh toured the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Atlanta, Georgia. EDA awarded nearly $4.1 million for the rehabilitation and expansion of the 43,000 sf, three-story incubator. Once complete it will have the capacity and facilities sufficient to support over 100 entrepreneurs, playing an enormous role in revitalization of this historically significant Opportunity Zone.
On August 26, BIS in the Department of Commerce added 24 Chinese companies to the Entity List for their role in helping the Chinese military construct and militarize the internationally condemned artificial islands in the South China Sea. Despite protests from the United States and other countries, the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has been rapidly building the artificial islands since 2013, enabling the Communist Chinese Party’s (CCP) militarization of disputed outposts in the South China Sea to undermine the sovereign rights of U.S. partners in the region.
Also, on August 26, we celebrated Women’s Equality Day, honoring the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and the women’s suffrage movement. We recognize and commend the ways in which women contribute to our society and strengthen our country.
Around the Bureaus
On August 20, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded a lease to Massa Industries, LLC for office space in Middletown, Rhode Island, that will temporarily house a new marine operations support facility for Rhode Island-based NOAA ships Henry B. Bigelow and Okeanos Explorer.
On August 24, Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development announced that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded $1.6 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to four EDA Economic Development District organizations in Virginia to update economic development plans and fortify programs to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
Also, on August 26, the United States Patent and Trademark Office announced the latest winners of the Patents for Humanity program, a USPTO initiative promoting game-changing innovations that address long-standing development challenges.
Be prepared! Make sure you and your family know the difference between a hurricane watch, warning, advisory, and more information from the National Weather Service at https://weather.gov
Complete the 2020 Census now so your community will have the resources it needs over the next 10 years. An accurate census count helps communities get the resources they need for emergency and disaster response. https://2020census.gov