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Blog Category: Initiative

Report on Gross Domestic Product Statistics for Four U.S. Territories Released

Click for larger image. Pictured: Nikolao Pula, Director of the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior; Kiran Ahuja, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; Pictured: Rebecca M Blank, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, U.S. Department of Commerce;  Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho, Northern Mariana Islands; Rep. Madeleine Bordallo, Guam; Rep. Eni Faleomavaega, America Samoa; Rep. Donna Christensen, Virgin Islands; Steve Landefeld, Director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce.

The U.S. Department of Commerce released newly-developed Gross Domestic Product (GDP) statistics for American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The statistics are a product of a joint effort of the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Interior Department’s Office of Insular Affairs. Policy makers will now have an objective view of the size of these economies, their growth or contraction, and their major components in order to conduct economic-impact analysis on the effects of local and national policy decisions. (More)

Forty-Six U.S. Business Executives to Join Secretary Locke in China and Indonesia for Clean Energy Trade Mission

Foto de El Seretario Gary Locke.

Washington (May 4 )—Forty-six U.S. business executives will join U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in China and Indonesia May 15-25 on the first cabinet-level trade mission of the Obama administration. On the heels of President Obama’s new National Export Initiative, aimed at doubling U.S. exports in the next five years, Locke will lead American companies on this clean energy mission to advance their export opportunities and support American jobs. (More)

Secretary Locke to Host White House Asian American and Pacific Islander Web Chat

Secretary Locke, AAPI Executive Director Kiran Ahuja and White House aide with laptop computer. Click for larger image. (Courtesy of the White House)

Image: White House video

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a live Web chat today to discuss important issues affecting the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Locke is co-chair of The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and was joined by Executive Director Kiran Ahuja for the Web chat. President Barack Obama proclaimed May 2010, as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The video will be available on www.whitehouse.gov/video. (Presidential proclamation)

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 Delivers Keynote Remarks at the U.S.-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum

Photo of Secretary Gary Locke.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addressed the U.S.-Saudi Business Opportunities Forum today focusing on economic collaboration between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, mutually beneficial business opportunities, and the Obama Administration’s National Export Initiative. At the forum, Locke announced plans for the Commerce Department to lead two trade missions to Saudi Arabia this year. Locke also met with his counterpart Saudi Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Alireza to discuss bilateral trade issues and areas for enhanced cooperation between the two countries. (Release) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Announces Public Review of Privacy Policy, Launches Internet Policy Task Force

U.S. Department of Commerce seal.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced the launch of an initiative designed to gather public input and review the nexus between privacy policy and innovation in the Internet economy. In addition, Locke also announced the formation of a Department of Commerce-wide Internet Policy Task Force to identify leading public policy and operational issues impacting the U.S. private sector's ability to realize the potential for economic growth and job creation through the Internet. (More)

Secretary Locke Visits San Diego to Stress Importance of Exports in Competitiveness and Job Creation

Locke with Canadian Minister of Industry Tony Clement and Mexican Secretary of the Economy Gerardo Ruiz. Clicke for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited Solar Turbines, one of California’s top exporters, for a tour of the company’s facility and a discussion with local small business owners on how the National Export Initiative will help small- and medium-sized businesses grow and create jobs in their community. Locke viewed the exporting process for industrial gas turbine engines from assembly through shipment to nearly 100 countries. Earlier in the day, he delivered the keynote address at the North American Competitiveness, Innovation & Clean Energy 2010 Conference Luncheon. He also met with Canadian Minister of Industry Tony Clement and Mexican Secretary of the Economy Gerardo Ruiz. (Solar Turbines remarks) (NAC remarks) (Release)

Secretary Locke Visits Chicago, Outlines Plans to Create American Jobs Through Exporting

Secretary Locke with participants.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is at the University of Chicago for an export promotion forum with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to discuss President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and what it will do to help U.S. companies, especially small- and medium-sized businesses, sell more of their goods and services overseas. Also speaking at the forum are U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, SBA Administrator Karen Mills, and Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg. The NEI aims to double U.S. exports over the next five years while supporting two million American jobs. (Remarks)

Francisco J. Sánchez Sworn In as Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade

Hightower, Sanchez and scheduling assistant Jenna Pilat. Click for larger image.

Francisco J. Sánchez was sworn in today as Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade after receiving a recess appointment from President Obama. U.S. Commerce Deputy Secretary Dennis Hightower administered the oath of office to Sánchez who will direct the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA). I’m pleased to have Francisco leading the International Trade Administration,” said Hightower. “As head of the International Trade Administration, Francisco will be on the front line as the Commerce Department spearheads the implementation of the President’s National Export Initiative.” (More) (Bio)

Secretary Locke, Senator Brown Highlight Effort to Boost Exports and U.S. Jobs in Ohio

Secretary Locke at microphone. Click for larger image.

U. S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke traveled to Dublin, Ohio to talk to Americans about the administration’s plan to increase the sales of exports and support the creation of high-paying jobs through President Obama’s recently announced National Export Initiative (NEI). Locke was joined by Senator Sherrod Brown. Officials from the State and Agriculture Departments, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, also met with business leaders across the country to discuss the steps the Administration is taking to help businesses sell more U.S.-made goods and services abroad. (Remarks) (Release) (Export Promotion Cabinet release)

Locke Pledges Administration Support for Emerging Trade Opportunities with Indonesia

Locke on podium. Click for larger image.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke discussed emerging trade opportunities between the U.S. and Indonesia as part of the Obama administration’s plan to create jobs here at home and grow overseas markets, especially through the National Export Initiative. In remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Forum, Locke announced a trade mission to Indonesia that will take place in late May, made up of American renewable energy companies. “Ensuring that American companies play a lead role in this energy transformation is a priority for the Obama administration,” Locke said. (Remarks) (Indonesia trade mission)

Secretary Locke Convenes Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Meeting

Locke at lectern with other participants in background.

In response to President Obama's recently-unveiled goal of doubling American exports over the next five years with the National Export Initiative (NEI), U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke hosted the second meeting of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) at the department. The TPCC, established in 1992, is an interagency group chaired by the Secretary of Commerce to establish trade promotion priorities that boost exports and create jobs. Later, he hosted a press conference with TPCC members, including Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Kirk, Small Business Administration Administrator Mills and others.

Secretary Locke: Commerce Helps Cities

Locke on podium. Click for larger image.

In remarks to the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke focused on the ways the Department of Commerce assists American cities, describing the core mission of the department as “making American businesses more innovative at home and more competitive abroad so they can create good jobs in communities throughout America.” Commerce is the lead agency for expanding high-speed Internet and broadband access, building critical economic infrastructure through regional innovation clusters, and increasing U.S. exports through the president’s National Export Initiative. (Remarks)

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)

Secretary Locke Participates in White House Web Chat to Discuss National Export Initiative

Video clip of Web chat.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke took questions from the public on exports, the economy and the President’s National Export Initiative online at Whitehouse.gov/live today. Questions came from the discussion itself, but members of the public were also encouraged to submit their questions ahead of time via Twitter by sending a message to @SecLocke or emailing open[at]doc[dot]gov. Locke also announced an unprecedented schedule of upcoming international trade missions. (Web chat) (Trade missions release) (List of trade missions—PDF) (NEI Executive order)

Secretary Locke to Travel to Brazil to Meet with Key Leaders to Strengthen Bilateral, Commercial Relationship

Secretary Locke with Forum participants. Click for larger image.

Photo: American embassy in Brazil

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will travel to Brasilia, Brazil, to meet with key Brazilian leaders, American companies, and public and private sector co-chairs of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum. During his meetings with American business leaders, Locke will discuss the Obama administration’s National Export Initiative and how it will help those businesses become more competitive abroad while supporting job creation here at home. (March 8 release) (March 9 release)

Commerce Deputy Secretary Hightower Promotes National Export Initiative at UCLA Business Forum

Hightower on podium. Click for larger image.

File photo

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Dennis F. Hightower discussed President Obama's National Export Initiative at UCLA's America's Business Forum, highlighting the Commerce Department's efforts to support job creation by helping U.S. companies to sell more of their products and services abroad. “All of us have to do more to ensure more American products are reaching new foreign markets.. . . . “At a time when traditional drivers of U.S. economic growth like consumer and business spending are strained, we simply must elevate exports as a key part of our economic recovery efforts,” Hightower said. (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Promotes National Export Initiative During Tour of Local Manufacturing Facility

Locke talking to facility works while touring. Click for larger image.

Following on the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union pledge to double U.S. exports in the next five years, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited Ellicott Dredges in Baltimore, Md., to discuss export strategy and toured the company’s manufacturing facility. During his visit, Locke, joined by Congressman John Sarbanes, met with local businesses and discussed the National Export Initiative (NEI) and highlighted the role the Commerce Department continues to play in supporting U.S. businesses like Ellicott Dredges. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Announces Expanded Commerce-UPS Partnership to Boost U.S. Exports, Support Job Creation

Secretary Locke with UPS vehicles. Click for larger image.

On the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union pledge to double U.S. exports in the next five years, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and UPS CEO and Chairman Scott Davis announced new steps in an expanded partnership between UPS and the Department of Commerce that is designed to increase U.S. exports among small- and medium-sized businesses. Locke and Davis also met with local business leaders to discuss the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) and how it will help American companies become more competitive while supporting job creation here at home. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Promotes Renewable Energy Export Opportunities at RETECH 2010

Secretary Locke.

File photo

A day after unveiling the details of the president’s National Export Initiative, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke urged attendees at the Renewable Energy Technology (RETECH) 2010 Conference to explore the export opportunities available for renewable energy technology that can support good paying jobs in a growing sector. (More) (Remarks)

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)

Commerce's USPTO to Accelerate Review of Green Technology Patents

Kappos, Locke, Chu and Arun Majumdar anwer questions from the press.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will pilot a program to accelerate the examination of certain “green” technology patent applications, Secretary Gary Locke announced today. The new initiative, coming days before the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, will accelerate the development and deployment of green technology, create green jobs, and promote U.S. competitiveness in this vital sector. (More) (Remarks) (Energy Announcement)

Secretary Locke Addresses Midwestern Governors Association Forum, Announces Opening of CommerceConnect in Michigan

Locke with scissors cutting ribbon at ceremony. Click for larger image.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke traveled to Detroit to address the Midwestern Governors Association Jobs and Energy Forum, announcing the official opening of the department’s first one-stop shop, CommerceConnect. The new office will help make the department’s services more accessible and Michigan businesses more competitive. Later, Locke traveled to Plymouth for a ribbon cutting ceremony. The one-stop initiative is focused on integrating Commerce Department programs to help businesses at every point of their life cycle, and the staff there will act as case workers for individual businesses that seek assistance. (More) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Joins Virginia First Lady Holton and Richmond Mayor Jones to Promote Department of Education Initiative

Students and officials watch President's broadcast speech. Click for larger image.

As children across America went back to school today, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, joined by First Lady of Virginia, Anne Holton and Mayor Dwight C. Jones, visited the Linwood Holton Elementary School in Richmond, Va., to participate in “We Are What We Learn,” a U.S. Department of Education initiative launched to challenge students to work hard, set educational goals and take responsibility for their learning. Locke, Holton and Jones joined students to watch a live broadcast of President Obama’s national education address. (Video of President’s Address) (Remarks)

Secretary Locke Reads "To the Top!" with DC Grade School Students

Locke seated and holding book while children look on. Click for larger image.

At lunchtime, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Donovan and Education Secretary Duncan participated in the Department of Education’s summer reading initiative, “Read to the Top!” During the reading, Secretary Locke read, “Those Shoes,” a picture book by Maribeth Boelts to a group of District of Columbia grade school students. The Department has partnered with community organizations nationwide to combat summer reading loss in response to President Obama’s national volunteer campaign, “United We Serve,” which challenges all Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful service to meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn.

Secretary Locke Visits Philadelphia for Conversation on Future of Urban and Metropolitan America

Image of Mayor Nutter, Secretary Locke and reporter with microphone in store. Click for larger image.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited Philadelphia today to kick off the Obama Administration’s National Conversation on Urban and Metropolitan America. This was the first stop in a nationwide tour that will help develop the President’s new urban agenda. Locke was joined by Adolfo Carrion, Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Ron Sims for a town hall discussion with local experts about the development of Pennsylvania’s Fresh Food Initiative and efforts to encourage supermarket development in urban areas.

Secretary Locke, Vice President Biden Launch Initiative to Bring Broadband, Jobs to More Americans

Biden, Vilsack and Locke on stage with flags in background. Click for larger image.

White House Photo

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke joined Vice President Joe Biden to announce the availability of $4 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act loans and grants to help bring broadband service to unserved and underserved communities across America. This is the first round of Recovery Act funding aimed at expanding broadband access to help bridge the technological divide and create jobs building out Internet infrastructure. Locke and Biden were joined today by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper. (More) (Remarks) (Vice President’s Statement)

NTIA Unveils Program to Help States Map Internet Infrastructure

NTIA logo.

The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced details of a grant program to fund collection of state-level broadband data, as well as state-wide broadband mapping and planning, which will assist NTIA in creating a national broadband map. This initiative will provide consumers with better information on the broadband services available to them and inform efforts to increase broadband availability nationwide. “This program satisfies Congress’ mandate that we collect comprehensive information on broadband in America,” said NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. (More)

Vice President Biden, Secretary Locke Announce Expansion of Manufacturing Initiative in Ohio

Ohio Gov. Strickland, Vice President Biden, Secretary Locke seated at table. Click for larger image.

White House Photo

Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the expansion of the National Innovation Marketplace program, an initiative that will help revitalize supply chains and equip manufacturers to use emerging technology and find new market opportunities. Locke joined Biden, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, and Auto Recovery Director Ed Montgomery at the vice president’s fifth meeting of the White House Task Force on Middle Class Families, reinforcing the administration’s commitment to innovation in American manufacturing. (More) (White House Press Release) (Middle Class Task Force Web Site)

Secretary Locke Kicks Off President Obama's 'United We Serve' Initiative with Visit to Homeless Shelter

Secretary Locke is shown reading to children with Rep. Harry Mitchell. Photo courtesy Tracy Hayes. Click for larger image.

Photo courtesy Tracy Hayes, A New Leaf

In an effort to inspire Americans to serve their communities, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited a homeless shelter in Mesa, Ariz. as part of the President’s summer service initiative, ‘United We Serve,’ focusing on four key areas: energy and the environment, health care, education and community renewal. Locke joined other senior officials in the Obama administration, including fellow Cabinet members and the First Lady, who participated in service projects on Monday in communities across the country. Locke is shown with Ariz. Rep. Harry E. Mitchell, reading to children at the shelter. The initiative will continue through the National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11th. (President Obama’s Video on ‘United We Serve’)

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)

Secretary Locke Meets with Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry

Minister of Trade and Secretary of Commerce with other attendees of meeting. Click for larger image.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke hosted a meeting with Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Toshihiro Nikai, the first meeting between Minister Nikai and Secretary Locke. In their meeting, Locke and Nikai recognized the progress made by the Commerce Department and METI under the Joint Initiative for Enhanced U.S.-Japan Cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights and other global issues and expressed support for continuing to deepen cooperation on trade and investment issues. “It is important for the United States and Japan, as the two largest economies in the world, to show strong leadership during these challenging economic times,” Locke said. (More)

Commerce, USDA and FCC Announce Public Meetings on Recovery Act's Broadband Initiatives

Seen on stage are Agriculture Secretary Vilsack at podium, and seated are Commerce Senior Advisor and Acting Chief of Staff Rick Wade, Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Copps and National Telecommunications and Information Administration Acting Administrator Anna Gomez. Click for larger image.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Copps and U.S. Department of Commerce Senior Advisor and Acting Chief of Staff Rick Wade kicked off the joint broadband initiative under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and announced a series of public meetings that will give Americans an opportunity to help shape the program. “President Obama believes in the power of broadband. Broadband deployment throughout the country will help drive the nation's economic recovery and growth," Wade said. (More)

Vilsack, Copps and Wade to Kick Off the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's Broadband Initiative

Recovery.gov logo. Click to go to Recover.gov Web site.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Acting Chairman Michael Copps and U.S. Department of Commerce Senior Advisor and Acting Chief of Staff Rick Wade will announce the kickoff March 10 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009’s (ARRA) broadband initiative. Vilsack, Copps and Wade will discuss the implementation of the broadband initiatives funded by the ARRA, initiatives critical for building a 21st century information infrastructure and creating jobs in communities across the country. (More)