U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Highlights Key Departmental Accomplishments During Obama Administration

Exit Memo Touts Success in the Areas of Trade and Investment, Innovation, Environment and Data

Jan052017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 5, 2017

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today submitted her exit memorandum to President Obama highlighting the Department of Commerce’s major accomplishments that helped grow the U.S. economy during the past eight years. Secretary Pritzker’s “Open for Business” agenda focused the efforts of the Department’s 12 bureaus and 46,000 employees on five pillars – trade and investment; innovation; data; environment; and operational excellence – in order to achieve its single mission of helping to create the conditions for economic growth, job creation, and opportunity across the United States.

“The Department of Commerce has played an integral role in America’s economic recovery. While government alone cannot create companies or jobs, it can help create the conditions for the private sector to grow and prosper,” Secretary Pritzker wrote. “Throughout President Obama’s Administration, we took strides to make our team more outcome-driven and responsive and provide important commercial perspectives in policy discussions. Critical to our success has been our work to build a stronger bridge to the business community and include the private sector in our policymaking process. I am proud of the team at the Department of Commerce and all of our accomplishments that have advanced the President’s priorities.”

Two specific areas of achievement denoted in the memorandum were strengthening the digital economy and trade enforcement. Secretary Pritzker highlighted the Department’s work in cybersecurity and enforcing U.S. trade laws:

  • Cybersecurity: In an economy increasingly vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, the Department plays a central role in the federal government’s policymaking focused on securing America’s data networks and systems. In 2014, the Department released the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. Created through unprecedented collaboration between private industry and government, the voluntary Framework consists of standards, guidelines, and practices that promote the protection of critical infrastructure networks. The Framework has become the gold standard for cyber-risk management and has gained widespread acceptance.
  • Enforcing Our Trade Laws in Record Numbers: The viability of U.S. manufacturers and the livelihoods of American workers has been threatened by ill-advised policies of certain foreign governments that subsidize the costs of production and artificially decrease the price of their exports at the expense of their trading partners. This Administration has taken substantial steps to confront this problem, and the Department has played a leading role. Antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations have reached historic highs. The Department of Commerce and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are currently enforcing 350 AD/CVD orders that address dumped and/or unfairly subsidized imports. The Department also secured legislative changes that strengthen the effectiveness of the AD/CVD remedy, including provisions that improve Commerce’s ability to deal with foreign producers that do not cooperate in AD/CVD proceedings and enhance the ability of CBP to combat evasion of antidumping and countervailing duties.

In her closing thoughts, the 38th U.S. Secretary of Commerce lauded President Obama’s leadership stating “the Department’s success stems from the tone and objectives President Obama set to generate broad-based prosperity in America”.

The full text of Secretary Pritzker’s exit memorandum is available here.

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