Did you miss key news from Commerce this week? 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
On October 19, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross joined Secretary of State Michael Pompeo at the third meeting of President Trump's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. Secretary Ross shared how the Department of Commerce continues to counter activities that run contrary to our American values.
"Protecting freedom and human life are intrinsic to who we are. And as such, we will persistently identify additional actions the Commerce Department can undertake in support of those principles that the Taskforce holds paramount." Secretary Ross
Secretary Ross traveled to Pittsburgh on October 19 and attended the grand opening of Astrobotic Technology, Inc., a 47,000 square foot facility that will be the primary hub for lunar logistics in the United States. Secretary Ross emphasized the important role of the commercial space sector in the growing global space economy.
On October 20, Secretary Ross delivered remarks at the virtual launch of the U.S.-UAE Strategic Dialogue. This new strategic dialogue further develops bilateral ties and solidifies the strategic partnership between the United States and the United Arab Emirates.
"This dialogue is critical as we rise from the global challenges facing both our nations this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our countries represent two of the most innovative and advanced economies in the world. So I am pleased that our relationship remains strong as we make progress through economic recovery." Secretary Ross
To coincide with the first meeting of the new United States-United Arab Emirates Strategic Dialogue Secretary Ross announced the Department is working to conclude two memorandums of understanding with Emirati government agencies promoting foreign direct investment, innovation, and entrepreneurship as well as the expansion of the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Digital Attaché Program to Dubai, UAE.
“The Trump Administration and the Department of Commerce remain committed to making resources available to the UAE in support of initiatives like this that encourage investment and strengthen commerce between our two countries,” said Secretary Ross. “Our countries represent two of the most innovative and advanced economies in the world and adopting a data privacy framework based upon existing global models and best practices is critical to economic recovery and advancement.”
On October 22, Secretary Ross honored 39 U.S. companies and organizations, recognizing their contributions to American export growth by naming them winners of the 2020 President’s “E” Awards. One company, Palladio Beauty Group located in Hollywood, Florida, received the “E” Star Award for Exports, which recognizes previous “E” Awardees that have reported four years of additional export growth.
⇒ Read remarks by Secretary Ross at the E Star Award Presentation to Palladio Beauty Group
Around the Bureaus
According to updated numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau on October 19, 99.98% of all housing units and addresses nationwide were accounted for in the 2020 Census as of the end of self-response and field data collection operations on October 15, 2020.
“The 2020 Census faced challenges like no other decennial census in living memory,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. “Achieving these metrics in the face of severe weather events and a global pandemic is a testament to the determination and ingenuity of the hundreds of thousands of dedicated women and men who worked on the 2020 Census.”
Natural disaster preparation is helping some small and medium businesses persist through the pandemic, per survey results released on October 19, from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Program Office.
On October 19, NOAA and the U.S. Department of Energy announced the opening of the DEVELOP Competition within the Ocean Observing Prize, a multi-stage prize that challenges innovators to integrate marine renewable energy with ocean observation platforms.
On October 20, U.S. Census Bureau reported that the privately-owned housing starts in September 2020 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,415,000. This is 1.9 percent (+/- 8.8%)* above the revised August 2020 estimate of 1,388,000.
On October 20, Scott Turner, Executive Director of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council announced the Economic Development Administration awarded a $399,804 grant to the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah and the Utah Association of Counties to create a rural Opportunity Zone and Recovery Playbook that will support local efforts to drive capital investment into Utah communities. Watch the special funding announcement live from Main Street, Brigham City, Utah. Mr. Joel Frushone, Director of EDA's Office of External Affairs and Communications, provided additional information on Opportunity Zones.
Celebrating World Statistics Day 2020
The U.S. Commerce Department plays a vital role in producing some of the most closely watched economic statistics that affect decisions made by policymakers, business leaders, and the general public. This World Statistics Day, we joined the United Nations in spotlighting the importance of providing accurate, timely, and objective statistics that drive decision-making every day.
October is National Seafood Month!
The United States is recognized as a global leader in sustainable seafood—both wild-caught and farmed. Watch these videos to learn more about why seafood matters in your region. You can also find delicious recipes and facts about what makes U.S. seafood sustainable on FishWatch.