department of commerce Overview of DOC Bureaus Office of the Secretary Office of Business Liaison Bureau of Export Administration Economics and Statistics Administration Bureau of the Census Bureau of Economic Analysis Economic Development Administration International Trade Administration Minority Business Development Agency National Institute of Standards and Technology National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Technical Information Service National Telecommunications and Information Administration Patent and Trademark Office Technology Administration Office of Technology Policy Office of the Secretary The Office of the Secretary (OS) is the Commerce Department's general management arm and provides the principal support to the Secretary in formulating policy and providing advice to the President. O/S provides program leadership for the Department's functions and exercises general oversight of its operating agencies. This office includes subordinate offices which have Department-wide responsibilities or perform special program functions directly on behalf of the Secretary. OS Department-wide offices include: Public Affairs for direct contact with the public and media; Legislative Affairs, which provides Congressional liaison; and Business Liaison, whose duties are described in detail elsewhere in this booklet. The Secretary of Commerce leads a staff of about 30,000 employees in domestic and foreign service. For further information, contact: Office of Public Affairs U.S. Department of Commerce Room 5413 Washington, D.C. 20230 Telephone: (202) 482-4883 or (202) 219-3605 Fax: (202) 482-5168 or (202) 219-4247 Website: http:/ International Trade Administration With 96% of the world's consumers living outside U.S. borders, international trade is increasingly important to the United State's economic well-being. Millions of American jobs depend on export expansion. One of six jobs in manufacturing depends on merchandise exports. The International Trade Administration (ITA) is the lead unit for trade in the Department of Commerce. It promotes U.S. exports of manufactured goods, nonagricultural commodities and services. It participates in formulating and implementing U.S. foreign trade and economic policies and monitors market access and compliance of U.S. international trade agreements. In these processes, ITA works closely with U.S. businesses and other government agencies including the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Treasury. Commercial offices around the world assist U.S. businesses in its trade and investment interests. Domestically, a nationwide network of U.S. Export Assistance Centers located in over 100 cities across the country, consolidate under one roof. The export promotion and finance services of ITA, the Export-Import Bank and Small Business Administration. Trade experts at the centers work closely with state and local export development agencies. ITA administers legislation that counters unfair foreign trade practices, and supervises several special important programs. ITA's operation is divided into four areas: The Import Administration investigates dumping complaints to determine whether foreign goods are being sold in the United States at less than fair value and investigates countervailing duty complaints to determine whether foreign governments are subsidizing their exports to the United States. IA's subsidies Enforcement Office is responsible for determining whether foreign governments are subsidizing their exports to the disadvantage of U.S. exporters selling in third country markets. Trade Development provides industry-specific analysis and advice on trade and investment issues to the U.S. business community and participates in negotiation and monitoring of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. Organized along industry and cross-sectoral lines, TD staff counsel U.S. exporters and service providers about marketing their products abroad, and conduct sector-specific trade missions, literature centers and marketing seminars. TD staffers also identify market barriers and provide advocacy to help U.S. industry achieve fair and open access to international markets. TD seeks to ensure the diverse interests of U.S. industry, especially small and medium-sized companies, are advanced in U.S. trade policy, promoting strength and growth of the U.S. economy. Market Access and Compliance is the U.S. Government's focal point for securing greater foreign market access for U.S. companies, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, through elimination of barriers to U.S. exports overseas and by ensuring full compliance with more than 200 trade agreements concluded by the United States. MAC consists of five regional groups: Africa; the Near East and South Asia; Europe; the Western Hemisphere; Asia and the Pacific; and Japan. In addition, there is an Agreements Compliance unit which supports trade policy negotiations including a Trade Compliance Center. The center monitors, investigates, and evaluates foreign compliance with international trade agreements and standards of conduct. The U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service operates a network of 100 Export Assistance Centers nationwide and 142 posts located in markets which together account for 95 percent of American exports. US&FCS has created and refined a package of 15 effective export promotion services to help U.S. exporters expand into new and existing markets. Center trade specialists help companies enter into new markets; give advice on distribution channels, pricing and relevant trade shows and missions; and assist with trade finance programs available through federal, state and local entities. Commercial officers abroad promote U.S. exports and interests of American companies in project bidding and trade disputes. For further information, contact: Public Affairs Office International Trade Administration U.S. Department of Commerce Room 3414 Washington, D.C. 20230 Telephone: (202) 482-3809 Fax: (202) 482-5819 Website: Bureau of Export Administration The Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) is at the cutting edge of many challenging and important issues involving national security and high technology. The portfolio has taken on added importance in the post-Cold War era. A principal challenge for the bureau is helping stop proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, while furthering the growth of U.S. exports. Export growth can be stimulated by eliminating outdated export controls and streamlining the licensing process, while fully protecting national security interests. BXA's principal missions include: Formulating the export control policies of the U.S. Government. Implementation and enforcement of the Export Administration Act (EAA). The EAA includes export controls not only to halt proliferation, but also to deal with other national security concerns such as combating terrorism. BXA serves as the U.S. Government's licensing agency for dual-use commodities and technical data. (Dual-use items are those with both commercial and military application). Enforcement includes a wide variety of administrative, civil and criminal sanctions. To analyze and protect the national defense production base, including helping with defense conversion in the United States. To provide technical assistance to Russia and other newly emerging countries, to help them develop effective export control systems and convert their defense industries. The effectiveness of U.S. export controls can be severely undercut if other potential supplier nations do not also have effective export control systems. To implement and enforce U.S. antiboycott laws. For further information, contact: Office of Public Affairs Bureau of Export Administration U.S. Department of Commerce Room 3895 Washington, D.C. 20230 Telephone: (202) 482-0097 Fax: (202) 482-2421 Website: Economics and Statistics Administration The Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) produces, analyzes and disseminates some of the nation's most important economic and demographic data. ESA develops economic policy and describes major demographic trends. Important economic indicators produced by ESA include retail sales, housing starts and foreign trade. The agency also supervises economic accounting systems that regularly provide broader measures such as gross domestic product, foreign investment and personal income by states. ESA is not just in the business of generating economic data but also sharing it with the American public. The Economic Bulletin Board « (EBB), a dial-up bulletin board system, delivers all major U.S. Government economic information including economic indicators from the Bureau of the Census, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Federal Reserve Board and Labor Department. The National Trade Data Bank (NTDB) « is issued in a monthly CD-ROM which contains federal export information and international economic data of interest to business, policy makers and researchers. Programs contained on the NTDB originate from federal sources like the International Trade Administration, Census Bureau and Department of Agriculture. STAT-USA/Internet ( is an online resource offering both the domestic U.S. economic information of the EBB and the foreign trade information of the NTDB in one, convenient stop. Updated daily, this is the "Business and Economic Information Node on the Information Superhighway" (National Performance Review, 1993). Other economic and demographic information is available from ESA agencies in a variety of forms: special reports, microfiche, CD-ROMs and via the Internet. In the demographic sector, a major undertaking is the Decennial Census-enumeration of the entire population that occurs in each year ending in zero. Censuses of major sectors of the economy-manufacturing, agriculture, and retailing for example-are taken every five years. ESA is headed by the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs and includes the Chief Economist, whose office monitors and analyzes current economic developments. Major offices under ESA are: The Bureau of the Census - known as "the nation's fact finder" - conducts most surveys for other departments as well as Commerce. Most of the data in its periodic economic indicators are derived from surveys of businesses and most of the demographic information comes from surveys of households or the decennial census. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) - much of BEA's work involves taking the basic economic reports, as well as information from many other sources, and constructing the domestic, international and regional economic accounts. BEA produces the quarterly reports on Gross Domestic Product as well as other important economic reports. BEA also publishes the monthly "Survey of Current Business," a comprehensive reporting of economic information, including occasional articles about travel and tourism, international transactions and other important economic issues. STAT-USA - under a revolving fund since 1994, STAT-USA generates its revenue through the sale of electronic economic information products and services. STAT-USA is a clearing house of all federal economic, business and trade information which it distributes to its customers in a variety of electronic media. STAT-USA products and services include the Economic Bulletin Board, the National Trade Data Bank, STAT-USA/Internet, USA Tradeď CD-ROM and STAT-USA/Fax. For further information about ESA and its bureaus, contact: Office of Economic Affairs U.S. Department of Commerce Room 4855 Washington, D.C. 20230 Telephone: (202) 482-2235 Email: Website: Bureau of the Census The Bureau of the Census - known as "the nation's fact finder" - conducts the decennial census of population and housing, demographic and economic censuses, and more than 200 annual surveys, many of them for other government agencies. Most of the data released as periodic economic indicators are derived from surveys of businesses; most of the demographic data come from the census or household surveys. The Census Bureau is the largest statistical agency in the United States and one of the largest in the world. By law (Title 13, U.S. Code), the Secretary of Commerce, through the Census Bureau, is responsible for taking a census of the population of the country every 10 years for the purpose of reapportioning among the states their representation in the House of Representatives. The Census Bureau's population counts also are used to redistrict state legislature and as one element in deciding the distribution of billions in federal grant money. In addition, the Census Bureau monitors the nation's economic health through a system of recurring national surveys. Its statistical reports are used for programs and services at all levels of government. Local organizations, both government and non-government, business and industry and others value the data. They analyze them, looking for trends, and use them to make planning decisions and devise sound marketing strategies. Economic censuses every five years produce benchmark data for business and industry as well as governments. Monthly, quarterly and annual reports, based on periodic economic surveys, provide national data on key subjects covered in the censuses. These data are critical to the national economic accounts, on which other federal agencies base policy decisions affecting the U.S. economy. The Census Bureau also is the nation's primary source of data on U.S. imports and exports. The Census Bureau is a world leader in statistical research and methodology. Through the development of computerized mapping for census-taking, it has become a pioneer in the nascent high-tech industry of geographic information systems. Furthermore, it collects information about more than 200 countries outside the United States. Census Bureau statistics are available in various media: CD-ROM, printed reports and paper listings. Computerized and hard-copy maps also are available. State Data Centers-a lead agency in each state and more than 1,600 affiliates--Census Information Centers and Business and Data Centers disseminate the data products and can answer users' questions. The Census Bureau itself offers assistance to data users from its headquarters in Suitland, Md., and through 12 regional offices. For further information, contact: U.S. Census Bureau Public Information Office Federal Office Building 3 Room 2705 Washington, D.C. 20233 Telephone: (301) 457-3030 Fax: (301) 457-3670 Website: Bureau of Economic Analysis The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) provides the most comprehensive statistical picture available of the U.S. economy. It develops, prepares and analyzes the economic accounts of the United States. BEA's national, regional and international economic accounts present basic information on such key issues as economic growth, regional development and the nation's role in the world economy. National economic accounts include the national income and product accounts that feature the quarterly estimates of gross domestic product (GDP), the wealth accounts that feature estimates of fixed reproductive tangible wealth and the input-output accounts that show the interrelationship of U.S. industrial production. Regional economic accounts include estimates and analysis that feature estimates of personal income and related economic series by region, state, metropolitan area and county. International economic accounts include the international transactions (balance-of-payments) accounts that feature U.S. transactions with foreign countries and related estimates of the U.S. international investment position that feature estimates of U.S. direct investment abroad and foreign investment in the United States. The Survey of Current Business, BEA's monthly journal of record, presents summary estimates and analyses of these accounts. BEA's information is also available in a variety of formats--including publications, diskettes and CD-ROM's and through a variety of sources, including BEA's Web site BEA estimates are also available online by subscription through STAT-USA's Economic Bulletin Board and STAT-USA Internet at For further information, contact: Public Information Office, BE-53 Bureau of Economic Analysis U.S. Department of Commerce Washington, D.C. 20230 Telephone: (202) 606-9900 Fax: (202) 606-5310 Website: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to predicting and protecting the environment. NOAA's overall mission is two-fold: (1) environmental assessment and prediction--to observe and assess the state of our environment, while protecting public safety and the Nation's economic and environmental security through accurate forecasting; and (2) environmental stewardship--protect ocean, coastal and living marine resources while assisting their economic development. NOAA provides its services through five major divisions and numerous special program units. The agency also holds the nation's seventh, and smallest, commissioned service--the NOAA Corps--commissioned, uniformed scientists and engineers who operate and manage NOAA's fleet of research ships and aircraft. NOAA Corps officers provide support to NOAA's programs from flying "hurricane hunter" research aircraft into nature's most turbulent storms to surveying and charting waterways to ensure safe marine navigation. NOAA's five divisions are: The National Weather Service (NWS)-- maintains a constant vigil for life-threatening dangers of severe weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes, winter storms and floods; its public weather warnings and forecasts influence the daily decisions of every American. A massive effort is underway to modernize NWS. With technology including a broad network of radars on the ground and satellites in space, NWS is increasing the accuracy of forecasts and warning times, giving residents maximum time to prepare for severe weather. NWS is the primary source of weather data for the country and the only official source for watches and warnings of severe weather and floods. NWS works in partnership with other federal agencies, state and local governments and emergency management officials to help protect life and property throughout the United States. NWS provides data and products to private meteorologists for the provision of specialized services. Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)--sponsors and conducts research to improve NOAA forecasts and warnings of severe weather, maintain water quality and conserve and protect coastal, Great Lakes and marine resources and study climate change. Research is carried out by NOAA scientists in a network of environmental research laboratories and by university scientists funded through cooperative joint institutes, the National Sea Grant College Program and the National Undersea Research Program. These NOAA scientists and NOAA-funded university researchers are helping solve some of the most critical environmental programs facing society: destructive tornadoes, hurricanes and other severe weather, including El Ni˝o-driven storms and solar storms that can shut down communication links and electrical power systems across wide areas of the country. National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS)--operates the nation's geostationary and polar-orbiting environmental satellites. It also manages the largest collection of atmospheric, geophysical and oceanographic data in the world. From these sources, it develops and provides environmental data for forecasts, national security and weather warnings to protect life and property. NESDIS also contributes to the national economy by providing environmental data for energy distribution, development of global food supplies and management of natural resources. NESDIS interfaces with other national and international space agencies. It coordinates the planning of new systems and exchange of data within the United States as well as other countries, including partners in Europe, Japan, Canada, Russia and China. As part of an international search-and-rescue satellite system, NESDIS helps save lives of downed pilots and mariners in distress. National Ocean Service (NOS)--conducts research on health of the coastal environment, which translates into healthy coastal economics. From gathering data about the coast to producing marine and aeronautical charts for safe navigation, NOS is at the forefront of merging coastal resources with a forward-moving economy. NOS grew out of the nation's oldest scientific agency, the Survey of the Coast, established in 1807 by President Thomas Jefferson to chart the coast and its harbors. NOS still surveys the coast, now using satellites, airplanes and high-tech computers. NOS also operates the Nation's underwater national parks known as National Marine Sanctuaries, undersea preserves set aside to protect important coastal resources. Through its coastal zone management program, NOS monitors the health of the coast and examines how our use of the nation's near shore affects the environment, striving to protect wetlands, water quality, beaches and wildlife. NOS also provides scientific expertise during oil and hazardous chemical spill cleanup operations and works to restore marine areas harmed by pollution or other damage. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)-- administers NOAA's programs that support the domestic and international conservation and management of living marine resources. NMFS provides services and products to support domestic and international fisheries management operations, fisheries development, trade and industry assistance activities, enforcement, protected species and habitat conservation operations and the scientific and technical aspects of NOAA's marine fisheries programs. NMFS oversees two million square miles of ocean where 300 species are harvested, and manages the 32 federal fishery resources plans, covering more than 230 species. It also seeks to protect coastal habitats, marine mammals and threatened species and helps restore fishery habitats lost to pollution, development, dredging, or filling. For more information, contact: Office of Public Affairs National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration U.S. Department of Commerce Washington, D.C. 20230 Telephone: (202) 482-6090 Fax: (202) 482-3154 Website: Technology Administration The Technology Administration (TA) leads civilian technology for Commerce and works with U.S. industries to promote economic competitiveness. The agency targets four goals: Development of advanced technologies in partnership with the private sector. Rapid commercialization and deployment of new technologies. Building a 21st century technological infrastructure. Leadership of industry and government initiatives to improve U.S. technological competitiveness. Established by Congress in 1988, the Technology Administration, the Commerce Department's youngest agency, consists of the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST); one of the department's oldest bureaus, the National Technical Information Service (NTIS); and the Office of Technology Policy (OTP). It is headed by the Under Secretary for Technology. For further information, contact: Office of Public Affairs Technology Administration U.S. Department of Commerce Room 4824 Washington, D.C. 20230 Telephone: (202) 482-8321 Fax: (202) 482-4817 Website: Office of Technology Policy The Office of Technology Policy (OTP) of the Technology Administration works with industry to promote competitiveness and advocates integrated policies for maximizing the impact of technology on economic growth. To achieve these goals, OTP develops and advocates strategies to: Support competitiveness in the manufacturing sector. This includes conducting strategic assessments of the U.S. manufacturing base, shaping a legal and regulatory environment conducive to manufacturing sector growth and promoting the rapid application of advanced manufacturing technologies and best business practices; Support the competitiveness of specific industry sectors. This includes bench marking the performance of U.S. companies in critical industries against their foreign competitors. It also promotes government-industry partnerships, and fosters a financing environment that increases the availability of long-term capital for technology investment. Increase the role of technology in promoting the U.S. national economic interest in the global economy. This includes development of strategies to increase U.S. industry access to foreign science and technology and review of international science and technology agreements to maximize the benefits to the participants and the private sector. In addition, the National Medal of Technology, a presidential award that is the highest technological honor in the country, is administered by the Office of Technology Policy. Mandated by Congress in 1980, the National Medal of Technology recognizes American individuals, teams and companies whose technological innovations have greatly contributed to America's economic prosperity and standard of living. For further information, contact: Office of Public Affairs Technology Administration U.S. Department of Commerce Room 4824 Washington, D.C. 20230 Telephone: (202) 482-8321 Fax: (202) 482-4817 Website: National Institute of Standards and Technology The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), part of the Technology Administration, promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards. NIST carries out its mission through a portfolio of four interwoven programs: Measurement and Standards Laboratories, Advanced Technology Program (ATP), Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and National Quality Program. The Measurement and Standards Laboratories provide technical leadership for vital components of the nation's technology infrastructure needed by U.S. industry to continually improve its products and services. NIST laboratories specialize in electronics and electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, chemical science and technology, physics, materials science and engineering, building and fire research and information technology. The ATP provides cost-shared funding to industry for high-risk research and development projects with the potential to spark important, broad-based economic benefits for the United States. ATP accelerates, or in many cases enables, potentially important R&D projects that industry otherwise would not undertake, or would not devote significant resources to in a market-critical time frame, because of the technical risks involved. With a nationwide network of locally managed extension centers, MEP offers technical assistance and the latest business practices to help the nation's smaller manufacturers improve their competitiveness. The more than 400 manufacturing extension centers and field offices located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico offer services ranging from process improvements and worker training to business practices and applications of information technology. The National Quality Program manages the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and provides leadership on quality and competitiveness issues. First presented in 1988, the Baldrige Award has become the nation's premier award for business performance excellence and quality achievement. For further information, contact: Office of Public Affairs A903 Administration Building National Institute of Standards and Technology Gaithersburg, MD 20899-0001 Telephone: (301) 975-3058 Fax: (301) 926-1630 Email: Website: National Technical Information Service For 50 years, the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), has served as the U.S. government repository for research and development results and for other information produced by and for the government as well as a variety of public and private sources worldwide. NTIS is a self-supporting federal agency within the Technology Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce. All costs associated with operating NTIS are paid for with the revenue generated from the sale of its products and services. Today, NTIS collection includes three million titles on more than 375 scientific, technical, engineering and business-related subjects. These subjects range from agriculture to medicine, from the environment to space exploration, from communication to transportation. NTIS collects, organizes, maintains and disseminates the information in a variety of formats-microfiche, paper, CD-ROMs, audiovisuals, computer software and electronic databases. In recent years NTIS has developed an online information dissemination system called FedWorld«. FedWorld« has grown to be recognized as the primary electronic source for government information. It offers the broadest possible access (dial-up, ftp, telnet, Internet and World Wide Web) to an online collection of government information and other agency sites. Information dissemination services are now being provided to numerous cabinet level and federal agencies. For example, all IRS tax forms and publications are available from FedWorld in multiple formats, and hosts online systems for agencies like the Federal Aviation Administration and Customs Service. In addition, FedWorld offers to federal customers a special suite of online World Wide Web security services that include digital signature, encryption and key recovery. For further information, contact: Public Information Office National Technical Information Service Room 203 5285 Port Royal Road Springfield, VA 22161 Telephone: (703) 605-6400 Fax: (703) 605-6715 Website: National Telecommunications and Information Administration The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the Department of Commerce serves as the President's principal adviser on telecommunications policies pertaining to the nation's economic and technological advancement and to regulation of the telecommunications industry. NTIA plays a key role in attaining the goal of an "information superhighway." NTIA's program activities are designed to assist the Administration, Congress and regulatory agencies in addressing diverse technical and policy questions. These activities are performed by a staff of approximately 300 employees, including policy analysts, computer scientists, electronic engineers, attorneys, economists, mathematicians and other specialists. NTIA is directed by the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information. The agency has six offices: The Office of Policy Coordination and Management (OPCM)--provides management support services to the assistant secretary including coordinating preparation of agency budgets, strategic plans, departmental reporting and personnel management. The Office of Policy Analysis and Development (OPAD)--is responsible for NTIA's domestic communications policy development. The Office of International Affairs (OIA)-- provides policy analyses, technical guidance and represents the U.S. in international telecommunications forums. The Office of Spectrum Management (OSM)--develops and implements policies and procedures for domestic issues regarding the use of the radio frequency spectrum and manages use of the radio spectrum by federal agencies. The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS)--serves as the federal government's principal research laboratory for telecommunications science and engineering. The Telecommunications Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP)--provides matching grants to non-profit organizations for innovative, practical technology projects throughout the United States; the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) provides matching grants to support the construction, expansion and or improvement of noncommercial public telecommunications facilities. The extraordinary changes and advances in communications technology and access over the past decade present many opportunities and challenges nationally and globally, as the world moves into the 21st century. The ability to embrace and advance these changes is an essential component of U.S. competitiveness. For further information, contact: National Telecommunications and Information Administration Office of Public Affairs U.S. Department of Commerce Room 4898 Washington, D.C. 20230 Telephone: (202) 482-1551 Fax: (202) 482-1635 Website: The Patent and Trademark Office The strength of America's economy depends directly on the availability of effective mechanisms to protect new ideas and investments. The strong impact of intellectual property protection on the American economy prompted identification of the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) as a High Impact Agency. Increased application filings testify to the ingenuity and productivity of U.S. innovators. PTO provides patent and trademark protection to inventors and businesses for their inventions and corporate and product identification. Through preservation, classification and dissemination of patent information, PTO encourages innovation and the scientific and technical advancement of American industry. It examines applications and grants patents on inventions, publishes and disseminates patent information, maintains search files of U.S. and foreign patents for public use and supplies copies of patents and official records to the public. It performs similar functions for trademarks. The agency has accumulated the world's largest collection of applied technical information, a collection which has grown at an accelerated rate since 1790, when the patent system was established. PTO has a classification system in which patents are divided into classes and subclasses of subjects, covering all items from the simple to the complex. This system permits any individual to locate and examine all existing patents in any field of technology. The Patent Office Search Room located at 2021 South Clark Place, Crystal Plaza Three, Arlington, Va., is open to the public. Also, the Trademark Office Search Room at 2900 Crystal Drive, South Tower, Arlington, Va., is open to the public. The Patents Official Gazette and Trademarks Official Gazette, published weekly, describe patents issued and trademarks registered by PTO. Basic Facts About Patents is a guide for the filing of a patent application. Basic Facts About Trademarks describes the application for and registration of trademarks in lay language. For further information, contact: Office of Public Affairs The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Suite 906 2121 Crystal Drive Arlington, VA 20231 Telephone: (703) 305-8341 Fax: (703) 305-8240 Website: Economic Development Administration The Economic Development Administration (EDA) provides grants to economically-distressed communities to generate new employment, help retain existing jobs and stimulate industrial and commercial growth. Working with distressed communities so they may empower themselves to develop and implement economic development and revitalization strategies, EDA seeks to ensure sustainable development. The Public Works Program helps fund construction of public works and development facilities which promote industrial and commercial growth such as industrial parks, business incubator facilities, water and sewer improvements, skill training facilities and other developments. The Economic Adjustment Program helps states and local areas design and implement strategies for adjusting to changes which cause or threaten to cause serious economic damage. Such changes may develop suddenly or over time, and result from industrial or corporate restructuring, new federal laws or requirements, military base closures or reduction in defense expenditures, depletion of natural resources and natural disasters. The Technical Assistance Program provides resources and information for solving problems and responding to economic development opportunities at the national and local levels alike. The University Center Technical Assistance Program helps colleges and universities mobilize resources to assist in economic development of distressed areas. Under the Research and Evaluation Program, grants and cooperative agreements are awarded for studies designed to increase knowledge about emerging economic development issues, causes of economic distress, ways to alleviate barriers to economic development and measure the performance and effectiveness of economic development programs. Twelve Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers around the country receive funds to provide technical assistance to certified businesses hurt by increased imports. EDA provides planning assistance to a national network of Economic Development Districts which focus on local capacity building and strategic planning for economic development in distressed areas. For further information, contact: Office of Public Affairs EDA Office of Communication and Congressional Liaison U.S. Department of Commerce Room 7828 Washington, D.C. 20230 Telephone: (202) 482-4873 Fax: (202) 482-0995 Website: Minority Business Development Agency The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) promotes growth and competitiveness of the nation's minority-owned businesses. MBDA seeks to improve minority business enterprise access to domestic and international marketplaces and improved opportunities in financing for business start-up and expansion. Established by Executive Order in 1969, the Agency: Funds a nationwide network of minority and American Indian Business Development Centers, Minority Business Opportunity Committees and Business Resource Centers providing management and technical assistance to minority businesses. Coordinates plans, programs and operations of the federal government, which affect or contribute to minority business growth. Initiates public and private-sector partnerships with other organizations to increase market opportunities and access to capital for minority-owned companies. MBDA provides management and technical assistance to minority group individuals who own or are trying to establish a business. This includes assistance with planning, bidding, estimating, bonding, construction, financing, procurement, international trade matters, franchising, accounting and marketing. The agency has counseling centers located in areas with large concentrations of minority populations and businesses. MBDA has agreements with banks and other lending institutions which help minority entrepreneurs gain access to capitol for business expansion or development purposes. The agency has an Internet data base called Phoenix which provides information about MBDA services and links to other government agencies minority enterprises might find useful. MED Week: Minority Enterprise Development Week each September honors contributions of minority-owned or operated businesses to the U.S. economy. It features trade fairs, seminars, business forums and culminates with a national conference in Washington, D.C., co-sponsored by the Small Business Administration. For further information, contact: Public Affairs Division Minority Business Development Agency U.S. Department of Commerce Room 5055 Washington, D.C. 20230 Telephone: (202) 482-4547 Fax: (202) 482-5681 Website: Office of Business Liaison The Office of Business Liaison (OBL) serves as the primary point of contact between the Commerce Department and business community. Its objectives include developing an effective, pro-active, responsive and effective outreach program and relationship with business leaders. It is OBL's responsibility to keep the Secretary and relative Department units informed of critical issues affecting the business community. OBL serves as a conduit to the business community of Department and other governmental resources, policies and programs. The office is charged with listening to representatives of business and conveying their concerns and interests as the only Cabinet level spokesperson representing U.S. business. OBL facilitates outreach to business people by promoting roundtable discussions and access to Department officials. Assisting companies ranging from small start-up businesses to larger operations seeking to expand overseas business is a primary objective of OBL. And this Commerce Department unit works with the business community to identify markets and assist U.S. companies competing in foreign markets though such activities as trade missions and conferences. For further information, contact: Office of Business Liaison U.S. Department of Commerce Room 5062 Washington, D.C. 20230 Telephone: (202) 482-1360 Fax: (202) 482-4054 Website: Home | About DOC | Newsroom | Resources | Person Finder | Site Search Privacy Statement | FOIA Home Page The public can contact Secretary Daley by email at, and Deputy Secretary Mallett at Direct inquiries about the content of this page to the Office of Public Affairs -- email or phone 202-482-4883. 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