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News & Press: Administration News

US Department of Commerce: Cybersecurity Olympic Edition

Tuesday, February 18, 2014  
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This week, Secretary Pritzker joined President Obama at the White House to unveil the Cybersecurity Framework. This public-private collaboration headed by NIST will provide standards to help businesses protect their cyber infrastructure. We also heard from three companies who accompanied Secretary Pritzker on her trade mission to Mexico last week. They made important business connections, but they all also highlighted the professionalism and value of Commerce staff in making the trip so valuable to them. Around Commerce, USPTO has a great blog post on black women inventors; Census shares some great factoids about Valentine’s Day; and NOAA notes that the Winter Olympics are taking place in a very warm Sochi, Russia. On a final note, for those of you in the Washington DC area, NOAA will host a free open house this Saturday for the public in Silver Spring, Maryland with a variety of free activities, including interactive exhibits, special tours, and hands-on activities for ages 5 and up. -Bruce

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker Participates in Cybersecurity Framework Launch - Secretary Pritzker participated in the launch of the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity during an event at the White House. The Cybersecurity Framework, called for in a 2013 Executive Order, was created through public-private collaboration and provides a voluntary and non-regulatory set of standards, guidelines, and practices to help businesses address and manage cyber risk in a cost-effective way.

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Concludes Her First Trade Mission in Mexico – A summary of last week’s successful trade mission, which included visits to Mexico City and Monterrey, that provided the 17-company business delegation with opportunities to establish relationships that will help promote their technologies and services in Mexico’s rapidly expanding infrastructure sector to support job creation in both countries. The mission also allowed Secretary Pritzker to focus on two of her main priorities as Commerce Secretary – helping U.S. businesses export goods and services and encouraging investment in the U.S.

Louroe Electronics Travels with U.S. Secretary of Commerce to Mexico for First Trade Mission - Guest blog post by Richard Brent, CEO of Louroe Electronics about how Louroe was about to successfully identify five new pilot projects that will focus on improving public safety throughout Mexico City and Monterrey. This is great news as the pilot programs will require an increase in current staffing by approximately 10 percent, ultimately creating more jobs.

EF Johnson: Participation in Mexico Trade Mission was a Positive Experience - A guest blog post by Mr. Rudy Torres, Director of International Business for all Government Public Safety Radio Communication for EF Johnson Technologies about how his involvement in the trade mission enabled EF Johnson to further develop existing relationships and to establish new ones as they continue to expand their business in Mexico.

A Vision for Mexico’s Future - A guest blog post by Anne Altman, general manager of IBM US Federal Government and Industries, and Dan Pelino, general manager of IBM's public sector business describing the value of their participation in the Mexico Trade Mission with Secretary Pritzker.

Census Bureau Releases Valentine’s Day-Related Facts and Statistics - As we celebrate Valentine’s Day today, the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Census Bureau released Valentine’s Day-related facts and statistics.

Trade Finance Seminar: A Must Attend Seminar to Learn How to Access Capital and Financing for Exports - The U.S. Department of Commerce is partnering with a number of local organizations and federal agencies in offering The Global Connect: Arizona Trade Finance Seminar at the Thunderbird School of Global Management on February 21 in Glendale, AZ. This seminar will be available in person and via teleconference, covering a series of important export finance subjects.

Uncovering History’s Black Women Inventors - Martha Jones of Amelia County, VA., might have become the first black woman to receive a United States patent. Her application for an "Improvement to the Corn Husker, Sheller” was granted U.S. patent No. 77,494 in 1868. Jones claimed her invention could husk, shell, cut up, and separate husks from corn in one operation, representing a significant step forward in the automation of agricultural processes. Five years later in 1873, Mary Jones De Leon of Baltimore was granted U.S. patent No. 140,253 for a novel cooking apparatus. De Leon’s invention consisted of the construction and arrangement of a device for heating food by dry heat and steam.

Sochi among the warmest Winter Olympics host cities - The 2014 Winter Olympics are taking place from February 7-23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. Sochi will be among the warmest cities to have hosted a Winter Olympic Games, with overnight low temperatures of 39°F (4°C) on average in February, and average daytime highs of 50°F (10°C).

Cities Launch Prize Competitions to Spur Economic Development Planning - Last week, Greensboro, NC; Hartford, CT; and Las Vegas, NV launched economic development competitions as part of the SC2 Visioning Challenge (SC2 Challenge). Created by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, the SC2 Challenge selected the three cities to receive $1 million each to solicit innovative strategies that advance local economic development planning.

Marrying Older, But Sooner? - The age when Americans marry for the first time has risen to its highest point since the 1950s. Although true, there is more to the story. With life expectancy increasing, Americans today are actually marrying sooner in their lifetime, despite marrying at older ages.

The Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) wrote that the earnings of new hires in manufacturing show the wage benefits continue on their blog this week.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) wrote about their rollout of new economic statistics in 2014 on their blog this week.

December 2013 wholesale inventories were $517.9 billion, up 0.3 percent from the revised November level and up 4.0 percent from December 2012. Sales were $442.4 billion, up 0.5 percent from the revised November level and up 5.8 percent from December 2012. For 2013 overall, wholesale inventories increased 3.9 percent from 2012. Sales rose 4.2 percent from 2012 to 2013.

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for January, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $427.8 billion, a decrease of 0.4 percent from the previous month, but 2.6 percent above January 2013. Total sales for the November 2013 through January 2014 period were up 3.4 percent from the same period a year ago. The November to December 2013 percent change was revised from +0.2 percent to -0.1 percent. Retail trade sales were down 0.4 percent from December 2013, but 2.6 percent above last year. Nonstore retailers were up 6.5 percent from January 2013 and auto and other motor vehicle dealers were up 4.1 percent from last year.

Commerce Data in the News: The Commerce Departments state-level exporting statistics generated many articles, including Industry Week's Top 10 Exporting States in 2013.

Citing statistics from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, Reuters news agency writes that children endure more abuse and neglect in counties with high poverty in "Kids May Suffer in Gap Between Haves and Have-Nots.”

Citing numerous statistics from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, Forbes magazine identifies economic hot spots in the making by looking where immigrants, young people or entrepreneurs are clustering in the article, "Future Cities: Where the U.S. Youth Population is Booming.”

Rattling off sweet and fragrant statistics from the Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Manufacturers and County Business Patterns, United Press International feels the love in "Valentine’s Revelers Have More Than 15,000 Flower Shops to Choose From.”

Data Releases Next Week: New Residential Construction: January (Census)


This weekend, Acting NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan will participate in the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL. Dr. Sullivan will moderate a panel on food security and sustainability that will include NOAA NCDC Director Dr. Thomas Karl and Dr. Felix Kogan. Dr. Sullivan will also take part in a panel on the Global Earth Observation Data and the importance of making data public.

On Monday, EDA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs, Tom Guevara, will discuss the importance of public-private partnerships in creating vibrant economic ecosystems and how EDA is helping to advance regional economic development strategies as a participant on the "Government is Here to Help: When Sectors Work Together” panel at the 2014 Global innovation Summit in San Jose, CA.

On Tuesday, NIST Director Pat Gallagher will deliver remarks at the Partnership Intermediary Agreement Signing Ceremony in Annapolis, MD. The agreement formalizes and furthers the commitment that the state, county, and NIST have already demonstrated to increase collaboration with industry sectors and technology providers through the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. Dr. Gallagher will be joined by Senator Mikulski and Governor O’Malley, in addition to other local officials, organizations and national business leaders.

Also on Tuesday, ITA’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Markets John Andersen will deliver remarks at the U.S.-Japan Decommissioning and Remediation Fukushima Recovery Forum and participate in activities that will assist with the promotion of U.S. firms for work associated with the decommissioning of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant and the recovery of the area affected by the accident at the Fukushima plant in 2011.

On Friday, Secretary Pritzker will deliver remarks at the "State of the Administration” speaker series, hosted by the Department of State. She will discuss Commerce Department efforts to strengthen global commercial and economic ties by supporting more opportunities for trade and investment.

Also on Friday, MBDA Acting National Director Alejandra Castillo will deliver keynote remarks highlighting MBDA services at a trade finance seminar in Glendale, Arizona. The seminar is designed for local small and medium sized enterprises, especially Hispanic and Latino-owned businesses.


Secretary Pritzker is joined by U.S. Ambassador Wayne and Mexico's Secretary of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal during her trade mission to Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico.

Bonus Photo of the Week

Secretary Pritzker Instagrammed her "little weekend reading."


U.S. Exports Set Records in 2013

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