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Blog Category: Government

Secretary Locke Holds Exports Town Hall with Philadelphia Businesses

National Export Initiative logo. Click for more NEI information.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited PENN Fishing Reels to discuss President Obama’s National Export Initiative and how it can help companies sell more of their goods and services overseas and create new jobs at home. Following a tour of the company’s manufacturing facility, Locke held a town hall meeting to highlight government resources available to businesses interested in selling their goods and services abroad. Locke was joined by U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Mayor Michael Nutter. (More) (NEI) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Announces NIST to Lead National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education

Locke at podium.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced today at the Business Software Alliance Cybersecurity Forum that the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will coordinate and facilitate the implementation of the Obama administration’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE). This initiative expands the government’s cyber security education efforts into a national focus that will establish an operational, sustainable and continually-improving cyber security education program for the public and private sectors focused on sound cyber practices. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Links Haiti Reconstruction Needs with Capabilities of U.S. Firms

Locke and Delatour on stage shaking hands. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke reaffirmed the support of the Obama administration and the Commerce Department for Haiti’s reconstruction efforts following January’s devastating earthquake at today’s Haiti Reconstruction Business Dialogue hosted at the Department. Locke was joined by senior government and private sector representatives to discuss how American companies can help aid Haiti’s reconstruction efforts. Haitian Minister of Tourism Patrick Delatour (shown with Locke), who is charged with leading Haiti’s reconstruction efforts, briefed businesses on the country’s pressing needs. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Hosts Luncheon with New Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and U.S. Companies

Locke and Pinera shaking hands.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a roundtable dialogue and luncheon with new Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, Chilean and U.S. government officials, and select U.S. businesses at the Commerce Department today to match some of Chile’s post-earthquake reconstruction needs with the capabilities of U.S. companies. The Government of Chile estimates that the 8.8-magnitude earthquake on February 27 caused upwards of $30 billion in damages. President Piñera assumed office less than two weeks after the earthquake. (More)

Commerce Department Releases Open Government Plan

Screenshot of Commerce's Open Government Website

In response to President Obama’s Open Government Directive, the Department of Commerce released its first iteration of its Open Government Plan. The plan creates a process for making more data available to the public and identifies three flagship Open Government initiatives that help make the Commerce Department more accessible and interactive. In a blog post on the Department’s Open Government Web site, Secretary Gary Locke noted that the plan, “establishes clear goals and benchmarks for success, and lays the foundation for continued work on increasing openness, participation and collaboration at Commerce in the months and years to come.” (Open Government Plan) (Open Government Web site) (Secretary’s post)

Secretary Locke Discusses Travel and Tourism Industry at American Hotel and Lodging Association Summit

Locke on podium.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addressed the American Hotel and Lodging Association Legislative Action Summit to discuss the importance of the travel and tourism industry to the U.S. economy. Locke spoke about President Obama’s National Export Initiative and the role travel and tourism plays in growing American jobs. He also discussed plans for implementation of the recently-signed Travel Promotion Act, which establishes a new public-private partnership between the U.S. government and the nation’s travel and tourism industry. (Remarks)

President Obama Signs the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 into Law

Secretary Locke at far left watches as President Obama signs Act. Click for larger image.

White House photo

President Obama signed the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 (TPA) into law, putting into place a new public-private partnership between the U.S. government and the nation’s travel and tourism industry. The U.S. Department of Commerce stands ready to work with the private sector to promote international travel to the United States. “When international visitors come to the United States they spend money on a wide range of goods and services that support U.S. jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke. “Creating a global tourism promotion program to encourage international visitors to vacation in America will help spur economic growth and create more jobs,” Locke said. (More)

Census Bureau Makes Special Efforts for Complete Count of Hurricane Affected Areas in the Gulf Coast

Hightower at table.

U.S. Commerce Deputy Secretary Dennis F. Hightower met with local government officials and community leaders to assess the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 Census efforts to ensure a complete count of Gulf Coast residents affected by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike. “We hired early, provided extra training, added an extra local office, increased pay rates, and are delivering the form to any housing unit that is or may be habitable—all to ensure a complete count in hurricane-affected areas of the Gulf Coast,” Hightower said. (More) (2010 Census Web site)

Secretary Locke Urges Formation of Regional Innovation Clusters to Create Jobs, Encourage Growth

Secretary Locke gesturing from podium.

File photo

U. S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke delivered the keynote address at the “Clustering for 21st Century Prosperity” forum hosted by the National Academy of Sciences. Locke’s remarks focused on the importance of advancing regional innovation clusters to create 21st century jobs. Regional Innovation Clusters (RICs) are a proven way to create jobs and grow the economy. They are geographic concentrations of businesses, government, academic and non-profit institutions that have common needs for talent, technology and infrastructure. (Remarks) (Podcast)

Secretary Locke Unveils Details of the National Export Initiative

Locke gesturing with hands from podium. Click for larger image.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke unveiled details of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) today. During last week’s State of the Union speech, the president announced a goal of doubling exports over the next five years to support two million jobs in America. Locke detailed how the Export Initiative will help the country reach that goal—providing more funding, more focus and more cabinet-level coordination to grow U.S. exports. The NEI represents the first time the United States will have a government-wide export-promotion strategy with focused attention from the president and his Cabinet. (More) (Remarks) (C-SPAN video, 1:00 p.m. EST)

Secretary Locke Joins Vice President Biden in White House Roundtable on Enforcing Laws Against IP Piracy

Pictured are Presidential Senior Adviser Valerie Jarret, Secretary Gary Locke, Attorney General Eric Holder and Vice President Joe Biden. Click for larger image.

Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a roundtable discussion on enforcing laws against intellectual property piracy. They were joined by Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, FBI Director Robert Mueller, USSS Director Mark Sullivan, as well as CEOs from major media conglomerates, union representatives, legal experts and other government officials. The White House meeting is the first of its kind and brought together stakeholders to discuss ways to combat intellectual property piracy in this rapidly-changing technological age.

Commerce Department Announces New Open Government Initiatives

U.S. Department of Commerce seal

The U.S. Commerce Department announced several initiatives that reflect President Obama’s commitment to increasing transparency and accountability in Washington and ensuring greater access and information for the American people. “President Obama took office with a call for unprecedented openness in government, and we are heeding that call,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “Americans have a right to understand the decisions made by their government, and today’s announcement will shed important light on them.” (More)

Secretary Locke Highlights E-Commerce's Role in Growing the Economy

Locke on podium.

File Photo

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke highlighted the importance of electronic commerce to the U.S. economy in a keynote speech at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Locke underscored the department’s commitment to working with U.S. industry and consumer advocates to protect consumers’ privacy and security online. The three-day conference will bring together senior government officials, business representatives, civil society, international organizations and academics from OECD and non-member economies to discuss consumer protection issues in today’s Internet economy. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke and Ambassador Kirk Welcome New Strategic Framework with Turkey

Secretary Locke, Ambassador and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan respond to press questions from the stage. Click for larger image.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk inaugurated a new process of engagement with the government of Turkey on economic and trade issues. The new policy structure, to be known formally as the “Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation” (Framework), was unveiled on the occasion of the visit of Turkish Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdogan to the White House. (More)

Secretary Locke Announces Winners of Presidential Export Awards

U.S. Commerce Secretary Locke honored 21 companies that have excelled in exporting as recipients of the prestigious 2009 Presidential “E” and “E Star” Awards during a ceremony at the National District Export Council Conference. The “E” Award is the highest U.S. Government recognition any U.S. entity may receive for supporting export activity. The Presidential “E” Award was created by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to recognize persons, firms, or organizations that contribute significantly to increasing United States exports. (More) (“E” Award for Exporters)

Commerce Secretary Locke Statement on U.S. Tourism and the Emergency Declaration for H1N1 Flu

Department of Commerce seal.

“The October 23 declaration was a precautionary measure to ensure that, if needed, medical treatment facilities in the U.S. will have the tools they need to deal with 2009 H1N1 influenza as efficiently as possible. Without the proper context, I know the declaration may have been a cause for concern among some abroad who had been planning travel to the U.S. But let me be very clear: The measure does not represent any change in status of the H1N1 influenza in our country. It was instead an important procedural tactic to help the government and U.S. medical facilities better handle the illness in the future.” (More)

Secretary Locke Kicks Off Visit to China with Discussions on Intellectual Property and Innovation

U.S. State Department map of China.

Map: U.S. State Department

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke stressed the importance of protecting intellectual property today at the Pearl River Delta International Forum on Innovation and Intellectual Property. At the forum, Locke spoke to government officials and business leaders and acknowledged that while China has made some progress protecting the intellectual property of foreign companies operating within its borders, more must be done. Later, at Jinan University, Locke joined a conversation with students about the significance of intellectual property rights for the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. (IPR Forum remarks) (Jinan University remarks)

Secretary Locke Opens ITA's Sustainability and U.S. Competitiveness Summit

ITA Sustainability and U.S. Competitiveness Summit logo. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addressed attendees of the International Trade Administration’s Sustainability and U.S. Competitiveness Summit at the Commerce Department. Representatives from nearly every federal agency and industry leaders from various business sectors discussed government efforts to support sustainable business practices and enhance U.S. competitiveness. Locke stressed manufacturing as a vital job source and said its revitalization is key to putting people back to work in good-paying jobs. Locke also introduced Commerce’s Sustainable Business Clearinghouse, an online information portal. (Remarks) (Web site)

Secretary Locke Meets with Muslim- and Arab-American Business Leaders on the Economy, Innovation and 2010 Census

Locke and participants in a group pose.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke met with members of the Muslim- and Arab-American business communities in Dearborn to discuss forging new business partnerships. “Getting our economy growing again will require strong action by both the government and the private sector,” Locke said. “If the Commerce Department and the Obama administration can help make your business a little more efficient, a little more innovative or get you access to a new market—then we'll have accomplished something we can be proud of.” Locke also highlighted the importance of the 2010 Census in ensuring representation and federal funding for the community. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Announces New Commerce Initiatives to Foster Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Department of Commerce seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced his plans to create a new Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship within the Department of Commerce and launch a National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Both substantial new initiatives will help leverage the entire federal government on behalf of promoting entrepreneurship in America. The new office is expected to announce additional initiatives in the coming months. (More)

Secretary Locke meets with France's Minister of State for Foreign Trade

Ildrac and Locke seated. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a meeting with France’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Anne-Marie Idrac, at the Commerce Department. This was their first meeting. Secretary Locke and Minister of State Idrac shared views on the importance of increasing trade and economic growth. Locke affirmed, “The U.S. government is committed to expanding trade and avoiding protectionist policies.” The Secretary suggested that the Doha Round must be balanced and ambitious. “The United States and France would benefit from increasing trade with developing nations,” he said. (More)

NOAA Administrator to Lead U.S. Delegation to World Climate Conference-3

NOAA seal.

Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator, will lead a U.S. delegation to Geneva, Switzerland, August 31- September 4 for the World Climate Conference-3 in efforts to establish a Global Framework for Climate Services. This framework is intended to help meet accelerating demands for useful information on the impacts of climate change.U.S. officials from more than 10 government agencies and departments will be actively engaged at the conference, learning from the international community and sharing American knowledge and innovations. (More)

Secretaries Locke, Napolitano and Sebelius Announce Flu Season Guidance for Business and Employers

Cabinet secretaries on stage anouncing guidelines. Click for video of press conference.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a joint news conference to announce new federal guidelines to help employers and businesses prepare for and respond to the upcoming flu season. The event is part of the federal government’s continuing efforts to prepare Americans for an influenza season that will include the H1N1 flu. Rear Admiral Stephen Redd from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Labor Deputy Secretary Seth Harris will also be on hand to answer questions. (More on Guidance) (Press Conference Video)

Secretary Locke Discusses Americas Competitiveness Forum at Council of the Americas

Secretary Locke seated at table.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke delivered remarks at the Council of the Americas extolling private sector companies to participate in the Americas Competitiveness Forum (ACF). He was joined by Chilean Ambassador José Goñi and Americas Society and Council of the Americas President and CEO, Susan Segal. The ACF is the preeminent commercial forum in our hemisphere and presents leaders from the private sector, government, non-profit organizations, and academia with an opportunity to discuss competitiveness issues in the Western Hemisphere. The 2009 ACF will be held in Santiago, Chile, from September 27-29, 2009. (Remarks)

NIST Releases Final Version of New Cybersecurity Recommendations for Government

NIST logo.

The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released its final version of a publication which represents a major step toward building a unified information security framework for the entire federal government. Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations was released in draft form for public review in June. “The aim is to provide greater protection for federal information systems against cyber attacks,” said Ron Ross, of NIST’s computer security division. (More)

Secretary Locke Testifies Before Senate Committee to Discuss National Climate Change Policy

Secretary Locke with Director Holdren in background. Click for larger image.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to discuss the Department’s contributions to national climate policy. Joined by Dr. John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Locke testified at a full committee hearing on “Climate Services: Solutions from Commerce to Communities.” The Department of Commerce is a leader in climate change research and monitoring, providing critical data and services to all levels of government and the private sector and helping companies and communities understand and adapt to climate change.

Secretary Locke Announces Administration's New Initiative to Aid American Businesses

Department of Commerce seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced a new Obama Administration initiative designed to streamline government bureaucracy and bring services and solutions directly to businesses and entrepreneurs creating and sustaining jobs. Locke made his announcement at the Detroit Economic Club’s National Summit. The new initiative will be launched this summer in the Detroit area. Responding both to President Obama’s call to make government more responsive and a once-in-a-generation economic crisis, Locke initiated the effort after seeing how complicated it can be to navigate the alphabet soup of Commerce agencies and programs. (More) (Remarks)

Report Released on National, Regional Impacts of Global Climate Change

Image of washed-out highway by flood waters. Click for larger image.

A new report, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,” compiles years of scientific research and takes into account new data not available during the preparation of previous large national and global assessments. It was produced by a consortium of experts from13 U.S. government science agencies and from several major universities and research institutes. A product of the interagency U.S. Global Change Research Program, the definitive 190-page report, produced under NOAA’s leadership, is written in plain language to better inform members of the public and policymakers. (More) (Report Information)

NIST, DOD, Intelligence Agencies Join Forces to Secure U.S. Cyber Infrastructure

Image of computer keyboard keys.

Photo: Shutterstock

Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in partnership with the Department of Defense (DOD), the Intelligence Community (IC), and the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS), has released the first installment of a three-year effort to build a unified information security framework for the entire federal government. Historically, information systems at civilian agencies have operated under different security controls than military and intelligence information systems. This ongoing effort is consistent with President Obama’s call for “integrating all cybersecurity policies for the government” in his May 29 speech on securing the U.S. cybersecurity infrastructure. (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)

NOAA Team to Train Fishery Observers in Senegal

Photo depicting NOAA workshop in Ghana to train fishery observers. Click here for larger image.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists will travel to the west African nation of Senegal this week to train government officials and university students to be marine resource observers on fishing boats. The observers will collect scientific information about the health of fish stocks and the amount of incidental bycatch of marine mammals and other protected species. This information is used to manage fish stocks and protect marine resources domestically and internationally, through organizations such as the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. (More)