Manufacturing Continues to be Among Top Five Largest Employment Sectors

It’s no secret the manufacturing sector has a major impact on the U.S. economy, and every year Manufacturing Week offers an opportunity to recognize this sector’s significant impact on the nation. Manufacturing Week is designed to coincide with Manufacturing Day, which has been held the first Friday in October since 2011.

U.S. Census Bureau’s 10th-anniversary celebration of Manufacturing Week.

Manufacturing Week expands upon the traditional Manufacturing Day launched by the Manufacturing Institute in 2011. The Census Bureau is celebrating the 10th anniversary by providing a worth of rich content & statistics that inform businesses and policymakers.

National Small Business Week Virtual Summit Highlights Resiliency and Recovery

Prominent small business investors, entrepreneurs, and mentors address nearly 50,000 attendees

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that this year’s National Small Business Week (NSBW) Virtual Summit drew more than 47,000 participants for the three-day virtual summit. Attendees heard from celebrity business owners, investors, entrepreneurs, and lead advisors from across the small business community, and connected with fellow small business owners from across the country. The event featured a focus on resilience and recovery, offering 22 educational sessions to help participants leverage SBA services and funding as they work to recover and build back better than ever.

“Our 2021 National Small Business Week Virtual Summit put a spotlight on the more than 32 million small businesses and innovative startups that are the beating heart of our nation’s economy,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “I’m proud that our dedicated SBA team was able to facilitate so many timely, thought-provoking conversations. And, I am thankful to the renowned business leaders and corporate partners who helped us deliver innovative programming to our incredible network of resource partners and customers. Throughout NSBW 2021, we have celebrated the resilience, creativity, and determination of our nation’s small businesses while connecting them with resources and tools to recover and help build our nation’s economy back better.”

Gina M. Raimondo’s Call with Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade

WASHINGTON D.C., Sept 1 – Today, Secretary Raimondo had an introductory meeting with Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade, Nguyen Hong Dien.

During their phone call, the Secretary and Minister Dien discussed the significance of the U.S.-Vietnam commercial relationship and potential areas for further growth. Secretary Raimondo highlighted the importance of energy sector cooperation, such as in renewable energy and smart grid solutions, to combat climate change.

They also discussed supply chain resilience and other priority commercial issues.

NOAA Predicts Another Active Atlantic Hurricane Season

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020. 

For 2021, a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher) is expected. NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. The Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 through November 30. 

“Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver life-saving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms.”

Last month, NOAA updated the statistics used to determine when hurricane seasons are above-, near-, or below-average relative to the latest climate record. Based on this update an average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which 7 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are currently in the neutral phase, with the possibility of the return of La Nina later in the hurricane season. “ENSO-neutral and La Nina support the conditions associated with the ongoing high-activity era,” said Matthew Rosencrans, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Predicted warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon will likely be factors in this year’s overall activity.” Scientists at NOAA also continue to study how climate change is impacting the strength and frequency of tropical cyclones.  

“Although NOAA scientists don’t expect this season to be as busy as last year, it only takes one storm to devastate a community,” said Ben Friedman, acting NOAA administrator. “The forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are well-prepared with significant upgrades to our computer models, emerging observation techniques, and the expertise to deliver the life-saving forecasts that we all depend on during this, and every, hurricane season.”

In an effort to continuously enhance hurricane forecasting, NOAA made several updates to products and services that will improve hurricane forecasting during the 2021 season.

  • In March, NOAA upgraded the flagship Global Forecast System (GFS) to improve hurricane genesis forecasting and coupled GFS with a wave model extending ocean wave forecasts from 10 days out to 16 days. Additionally, Global Positioning Satellite Radio Occultation (GPS-RO) data are now included in the GFS model, providing an additional source of observations to strengthen overall model performance.
  • Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are now using an upgraded probabilistic storm surge model — known as P-Surge — which includes improved tropical cyclone wind structure and storm size information that offers better predictability and accuracy. This upgrade extends the lead time of P-Surge forecast guidance from 48 to 60 hours in situations where there is high confidence. 
  • NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory will deploy its largest array of air and water uncrewed systems to gather data designed to help improve hurricane intensity forecasts and forecast models. New drones will be launched from NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft that will fly into the lower part of hurricanes, and in the ocean, saildrones, hurricane gliders, global drifters, and air-deployable technology — called ALAMO floats — will track various parts of the life cycle of tropical storms.

Last year’s record-breaking season serves as a reminder to all residents in coastal regions or areas prone to inland flooding from rainfall to be prepared for the 2021 hurricane season. 

NOAA also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the Eastern and Central Pacific basins, and will provide an update to the Atlantic outlook in early August, just prior to the peak of the season.

Message from the 40th Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo

On March 3, Gina M. Raimondo was sworn in as the 40th U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Secretary Raimondo was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris after a bipartisan vote of 84-15 in the United States Senate. In her role as Secretary of Commerce, Raimondo will lead a key agency focused on promoting economic growth, which includes the International Trade Administration, the Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Economic Development Administration, Minority Business Development Agency, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Message from Secretary Raimondo

COVID-19 has impacted every community in our country.

As the Governor of Rhode Island, I saw firsthand how our families, our children, and our communities have been impacted by this virus. Millions of Americans are out of work, and over 400,000 small businesses have been forced to shut their doors. Minority-owned and women-run businesses have been the hardest hit.

Now, I also know firsthand the pain that losing a job causes a family. I still remember when my dad lost his job after 28 years of work in manufacturing. It was a tough time for us and too many families all across our country today are having to make the same sacrifices we had to make back then.

And it’s not just the pandemic. We are facing an urgent economic crisis, a climate emergency, longstanding racial inequities, and the need to restore America’s leadership on the world’s stage.

But there is hope ahead. Because when we come together as a country, there is nothing that can stop us. We innovate. We grow. And we will meet these unprecedented challenges by building back better and ensuring that every American is part of our success.

As the Secretary of Commerce, I am committed to helping working Americans and businesses – small and large – combat this pandemic head-on, creating millions of good-paying jobs, and powering a more just, sustainable economy. An economy where workers are treated with dignity and respect, businesses have the tools they need to innovate, and America can out-compete any country in the world. We’re going to revitalize domestic manufacturing, strengthen critical supply chains here in the United States, and set the stage for economic growth for decades to come.

I’m proud to be leading the Commerce Department. Our hard-working, talented workforce has the tools, data, and expertise we need to help communities address the challenges we face as a nation.

We want the Commerce Department to be about opportunity and competitiveness. The opportunity to start or grow a business. The opportunity to get a good, stable job. The opportunity to pursue the American Dream, regardless of where you live or where you come from.

Let’s create a future that is made in America. That invests in our communities and for future generations. It’s time to Build Back Better, to build back smarter, build back stronger, and to build back equitably.

I am Gina Raimondo, and I am proud to serve as the 40th Secretary for the Department of Commerce.

This is our opportunity to tackle our most pressing challenges and create a more equitable economy for all Americans.

PBGC Announces New Inspector General Appointment

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced the appointment of Nicholas J. Novak as the agency’s Inspector General. In his 35-year career, Novak spent nearly 20 years holding various positions within PBGC’s Office of Negotiations and Restructuring (ONR) and the agency’s Office of the Inspector General. Novak’s ONR portfolio included supervising aspects of the Multiemployer Pension Insurance Program. He most recently served as PBGC’s Acting Inspector General since April 2020.

“I know that Nick shares my commitment to ensuring PBGC and everyone at the agency operate ethically and effectively,” PBGC Director Gordon Hartogensis said. “I look forward to continuing our work together as he takes on the role of Inspector General.”

As Inspector General, Novak will continue to oversee independent audits and investigations, provide guidance to improve the agency’s business practices, and execute procedures to prevent and detect fraud. Novak reports directly to PBGC’s Board of Directors and Congress to help improve and maintain the integrity of PBGC’s programs and operations.

A proven public servant, he previously worked at the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, the Government Publishing Office, and in the private sector.

He is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Maryland.

About PBGC
PBGC protects the retirement security of over 35 million American workers, retirees, and beneficiaries in both single-employer and multiemployer private-sector pension plans. The agency’s two insurance programs are legally separate and operationally and financially independent. PBGC is currently responsible for the benefits of about 1.5 million people in failed pension plans and receives no taxpayer dollars. The Single-Employer Insurance Program is financed by insurance premiums, investment income, and assets and recoveries from failed single-employer plans. The Multiemployer Insurance Program is financed by insurance premiums and investment income. For more information, visit PBGC.gov.

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Q1 2020 GDP Advance Estimate

Today, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the advance estimate for gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2020, finding that real gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 4.8 percent.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross issued the following statement in response:

“Today’s GDP numbers are weak, but in line with expectations as a result of the COVID-19-driven disruptions to daily lives at home and around the globe that have rocked global markets and supply chains. We continue to have the most resilient economy in the world, driven by innovative and hardworking Americans who have shown that they are willing to make the needed sacrifices to defeat this invisible enemy.

The President has taken bold action to leverage the expertise and resources of the entire Nation in this fight. Congress has confronted the seriousness of this challenge with trillions of dollars in relief funding for those impacted by the virus, establishing a firm footing for a swift and strong American comeback. When this chapter ends, America will be both stronger and healthier than ever because of the President’s decisive and timely actions.”

Proclamation on World Intellectual Property Day, 2020

Note: This proclamation was originally published on the Proclamations webpage of the White House website on April 24, 2020. 

Our Nation’s history is defined by discovery, ingenuity, and innovation. Americans are known for their resourcefulness and ability to find solutions to a wide range of challenges, including the development of technologies that advance our security, health, and prosperity. This resourcefulness has been a driving force of economic growth and human development since the founding of our Nation, and our future depends on the continued protection of our intellectual property. On World Intellectual Property Day, we renew our resolve to protect and secure the works and innovations of American artists, inventors, and other creators who continually push the boundaries of human knowledge and understanding.

Our Founding Fathers recognized the vital role that intellectual property plays in society and in supporting a robust economy. The Intellectual Property Clause of the Constitution reflects their understanding that laws must be in place to “promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” More than two centuries later, we remain committed to this idea, upholding and strengthening an intellectual property system that encourages greater American innovation and advances our global competitiveness.

My Administration is building on our Nation’s history of securing intellectual property rights. In the United States, intellectual property-intensive industries account for nearly one-third of all employment and approximately 40 percent of our country’s gross domestic product, an estimated $6.6 trillion. To support these industries, in January of this year I signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into law, replacing the outdated and unbalanced North American Free Trade Agreement. USMCA furthers my Administration’s pro-growth agenda by establishing ground-breaking protections for trade secrets, strengthening border security, and enhancing trademark, copyright, and patent provisions. These are the most comprehensive intellectual property standards ever included in a free trade agreement. Additionally, earlier this year I signed an Executive Order on Ensuring Safe and Lawful E-Commerce for United States Consumers, Businesses, Government Supply Chains, and Intellectual Property Rights Holders, which is aimed at finding improved ways to protect intellectual property rights holders from an increasing amount of counterfeit and pirated goods marketed online.

The importance of intellectual property has never been more apparent than it is now, as we continue the ongoing battle against the coronavirus. To respond to this national and international emergency, the Federal, State, and local Governments have partnered with the private sector to develop new and powerful tools to combat the spread of the virus and provide care to those in need, focusing every available resource on the fight against the invisible enemy. Relying on strong intellectual property protections, these industries are able to act boldly to invent new tests, begin developing experimental treatments and vaccines, and rapidly produce and reengineer medical equipment to help win this war. These efforts are saving tens of thousands of lives and reflect the unrivaled power of American industry and innovation.

This month, we pay tribute to our Nation’s long history of ingenuity and advancement, and we recommit to protecting, promoting, and prioritizing a business and economic environment that supports those who carry on this legacy. The pioneering spirit of these artists, authors, inventors, and other creators has improved our lives and the lives of millions of people around the world, and will continue to propel us toward a better future.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 26, 2020, as World Intellectual Property Day. I encourage Americans to observe this day to celebrate the benefits of intellectual property to our economy and our country.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

USPTO announces extension of certain patent and trademark-related timing deadlines

USPTO announces extension of certain patent and trademark-related timing deadlines under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced extensions to the time allowed to file certain patent and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees. These actions are an exercise of temporary authority provided to the USPTO by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed by President Trump on March 27. 

“Inventors and entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our economy, and we recognize that many of them are having difficulty as a result of COVID-19,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Andrei Iancu. “As a result, we are working to provide as much relief as possible to our stakeholders, consistent with our ability to maintain the USPTO’s fee-funded operations. We are especially mindful of the outsized impact on small businesses and independent inventors, and we have provided additional relief for these groups. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure not only that inventors and entrepreneurs can weather the storm, but that they can also hit the ground running once it passes.” 

The USPTO has made operational adjustments to keep its employees and the public safe as it remains open for business. In-person meetings, such as hearings and examiner interviews, are being conducted virtually by phone and video until further notice.

SBA & Treasury Begin Unprecedented Public-Private Mobilization Effort to Distribute Funds

Following President Trump’s signing of the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin today announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need.

The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The Program will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed.

“This unprecedented public-private partnership is going to assist small businesses with accessing capital quickly. Our goal is to position lenders as the single point-of-contact for small businesses – the application, loan processing, and disbursement of funds will all be administered at the community level,” said Administrator Carranza. “Speed is the operative word; applications for the emergency capital can begin as early as this week, with lenders using their own systems and processes to make these loans. We remain committed to supporting our nation’s more than 30 million small businesses and their employees, so that they can continue to be the fuel for our nation’s economic engine.”

“This legislation provides small business job retention loans to provide eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed,” said Secretary Mnuchin. “Treasury and the Small Business Administration expect to have this program up and running by April 3rd so that businesses can go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank, or credit union, apply for a loan, and be approved on the same day.  The loans will be forgiven as long as the funds are used to keep employees on the payroll and for certain other expenses.”

The new loan program will help small businesses with their payroll and other business operating expenses. It will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, or SBA fees – all with a 100% guarantee from SBA. All loan payments will be deferred for six months. Most importantly, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest.

The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. Visit SBA.gov/Coronavirus for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program.