U.S. Commerce Department Releases Strategic Plan to Boost America’s Competitiveness

WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Commerce released its fiscal year 2022-2026 Strategic Plan laying out an agenda for innovation, resilience and equity to strengthen America’s competitiveness in the 21st century.  Along with the strategic plan, the Department also published the first-ever learning agenda, through which all bureaus will build rigorous evidence on program outcomes. 

“Everything we do at the Department is focused on increasing America’s competitiveness in the global economy.  With this plan, we are positioning America’s workers and businesses for success in the 21st century.  And all Americans, especially those that have been historically excluded, will share in our prosperity,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. 

The Department has revised its mission statement to underscore the connection between our programs and all Americans. As of today, the Department’s mission is to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all communities.

The Department’s strategic plan has five goals: 

  • Drive American innovation and global competitiveness. By investing in resilient supply chains, advancing emerging and critical technologies, and engaging in strategic partnerships with allies, we will expand opportunities for American innovators, workers, and businesses. At the same time, improve cybersecurity, promote intellectual property rights, and vigorously enforce our trade rules.
  • Foster inclusive capitalism and equitable economic growth. By creating an economy that works for all Americans, we will translate short-term growth into long-term prosperity. Once in-a-generation investments in broadband and economic development will empower entrepreneurs in all regions of the country. Smart workforce development will align workers’ skills with industry needs and provide wraparound support so job seekers can successfully complete their training.
  • Address climate crisis through mitigation, adaptation, and resilience efforts. By accelerating cutting-edge clean technologies advancing our collection and dissemination of climate data and investing in restoration and preparation, we will combat climate change, protect the ocean, and lead the world toward a clean energy future while creating millions of good-paying jobs. 
  • Expand opportunity and discovery through data. By leveraging our world-class scientific and statistical tools, we will establish a level playing field for American workers and businesses in the global economy. 
  • Provide 21st century service with 21st century capabilities. By deploying smart technology and modernizing our systems for hiring and procurement, we will ensure that across the Commerce Department’s 13 bureaus are focused on achieving results for the American people and American businesses.

The creation of the strategic plan was a collaborative effort involving staff from every Department of Commerce bureau and serves as a foundation for equitable economic growth and opportunity. The plan is in direct alignment with the President’s FY 23 budget request which reflects the Department’s role to drive U.S. competitiveness at home and abroad, and the Administration’s focus on economic growth and job creation. Department leaders and employees will use this plan to transform strategies into actions, and actions into results for all communities.

USPTO report finds industries that intensively use intellectual property protection account for over 41% of U.S. gross domestic product

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today released the latest edition of its report highlighting the economic contributions of industries that make greater use of intellectual property (IP) protection, including patents, trademarks, and copyrights, titled “Intellectual property and the U.S. economy: Third edition.”

“Intellectual property protection is vital for American innovation and entrepreneurship,” said United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This report underscores the key benefits associated with a strong intellectual property system and reinforces the Biden administration’s commitment to expanding our innovation economy by ensuring that more Americans have equitable access to the goods, services, and quality jobs that stem from American innovation. Employees working in IP-intensive industries are more likely to earn higher wages compared to non-IP-intensive industries. IP protection isn’t just good for American businesses, it’s good for American workers.”

The latest report found that in 2019, 127 IP-intensive industries in sectors such as manufacturing; wholesale and retail trade; and professional, technical, management, and administrative services accounted for $7.8 trillion in U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), or 41% of total GDP. Direct employment in these industries accounted for 47.2 million jobs in 2019, or 33% of total U.S. employment. Indirect employment—jobs created in other industries that depend at least partially on final sales in IP-intensive industries—accounted for an additional 11% of U.S. employment. In total, IP-intensive industries contributed 44% of U.S. employment.

Additionally, for the first time, the report provides data that offers greater insight into the demographics of workers in IP-intensive industries.

In terms of overall workforce composition, the report found that women and minorities, except for those of Asian descent, were underrepresented in IP-intensive industries. Women comprised 43.7% of the workforce in IP-intensive industries, versus 54% in non-IP-intensive industries. The report further shows that Blacks and Hispanics respectively comprised 8.9% and 13% of the workforce in IP-intensive industries, versus 13.9% and 19.5% in non-IP-intensive industries.

American Economy Added 199,000 Jobs in the Month of December 2021

U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh issued the following statement on the December 2021 Employment Situation Report:

“Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the American economy added 199,000 jobs in the month of December, and the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, down from 4.2 percent in November. This marks the first time unemployment has been under four percent since the pandemic began, and the largest ever one-year drop in the unemployment rate on record. With strong, steady job growth every month of the Biden-Harris Administration, we added 6.4 million jobs in 2021, reaching 84 percent of the jobs lost at the start of the pandemic recovered, and empowering workers to secure higher wages, especially for low wage workers. 

“In the Department of Labor, we are focused on building an inclusive recovery that lifts up all workers and communities, and that means identifying and addressing persistent inequities as reflected in an increase in Black unemployment in December. We are investing in equity and diversity in job training programs and career services, strengthening health and safety, wage and anti-discrimination protections for the most vulnerable workers, and making sure the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law creates good jobs for every community. We are devoted to empowering all workers morning, noon and night.

“This work is especially important as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 impacts communities across the country this month, including many workers and workplaces. We have the tools to keep people safe, including mask guidance, increased testing capacity, and vaccines that work to prevent severe illness. I urge anyone who is eligible and has not received a vaccine or a booster yet to visit vaccines.gov and find a vaccination site near you. And I urge all employers to provide the flexibility and support necessary to help workers get vaccinated, protect their health, and continue our historic, worker-centered recovery.”

U.S. Population Estimated at 332,403,650 on Jan. 1, 2022

As U.S. nation prepares to ring in the new year, the U.S. Census Bureau projects the United States population will be 332,403,650 on Jan. 1, 2022.

This represents a 0.21% increase in population or an additional 706,899 people since New Year’s Day 2021. Population increased 0.29% since Census Day, April 1, 2020, adding 954,369 people during that period.

In January 2022, the United States is expected to experience a birth every nine seconds and one death every 11 seconds. Meanwhile, net international migration is expected to add one person to the U.S. population every 130 seconds.

The combination of births, deaths and net international migration increases the U.S. population by one person every 40 seconds.

The projected world population on Jan. 1, 2022 is 7,868,872,451, an increase of 74,235,487, or 0.95%, from New Year’s Day 2021. During January 2022, 4.3 births and 2.0 deaths are expected worldwide every second.

The Golden Diamond Awards winners were announced at the 3rd Asian Film Festival awards ceremony in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CA, DEC 19 – Today, The 3rd Asian Film Festival Golden Diamond Awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles. The event’s red carpet scene was spectacular and the award stage was full of stars. Academy Award winning directors, Hollywood stars, producers, investors and Asian Film Festival ‘s filmmakers are once again gathering together to celebrate.

Holmes Stoner, Chairman of the Asian Film Festival; Leith Enron, Co-Chairwoman of the Asian Film Festival; Inge Sawerthal, President of the American Chamber of International Commerce; Richard Anderson, Oscar winner and Emmy Winner and Mariana Tse, former US Assistant Secretary of Education, As well as Asian Film Festival judges representatives Amber Martinez and Francesca Gioia Drommi and other awards guests on stage at Golden Diamond Awards ceremony to award Best Future, Best Documentary, Best Animation winners, As well as the Best New Director, Best New Actress, Best Child Actor and Best Child Actress award were presented with a Golden Diamond Awards trophy and certificate.

Chinese feature film “Run. Shunzi” Leading actress Xu Yuan won the golden Diamond Award for Best Actress. Xu won much attention for her performance as Zhang Shunzi, the heroine of the movie, which depicts a young amateur athlete who becomes a professional athlete and continues to make miracles.

Jason Quin, The executive chairman of the Asian Film Festival Los Angeles delivered a speech via video on the ceremony today, He announced that the 4th Asian Film Festival was launched at the same time and will be open for application soon.

Following is the full list of the 3rd Golden Diamond Awards winners:

Best Feature: “Winter in LA”, USA
Best Foreign Language Film: “Four Ever Young”, China
Best Documentary: “Song of Little Saigon”, USA
Best Animation: “Nai Nai”, USA
Best Short Film: “Hell in a Handbasket”, Canada
Best Documentary Short: “Believer”, China
Best Student Short: ” Magician: Game of Detective”, China
Best Director: “The Road to Eden”, Kyrgyzstan
Best First Director:
“Take it Easy”, USA, Suja Raghuram Manoj
Best Director Student: ” One Afternoon”, China, Yumin Zhang
Best Script: “Like Rainbow”, Iran, Behrad Sahebgharani
Best Cinematography: ”Path To The Sky”, Sammy Su, Canada
Best Production Design: “Bloody Romeo”, Canada, Alina Lapteva
Best Music: “A Paper Plane Ride Home”, USA, Georgia Conrad
Best Actor: “The Road to Eden”, Kyrgyzstan, Bakyt Mukul
Best Actress: “Run! Shunzi”, China, Yuan Xu
Best New Actress: “An Hero”, USA, Tyler Li Stoner
Best Child Actor: “Snails”, USA, Aiden Lu
Best Child Actress: “Where the Light Ends”, China, Zili Zhang

USPTO announces new Public Advisory Committee members

Washington DC, Dec 16 – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced new membership to its Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees, composed of private-sector intellectual property (IP) executives who help advise the Secretary of Commerce and the USPTO Director on the management of patent and trademark operations. The Secretary of Commerce appoints the nine members of each committee to serve three-year rotating terms.

“The Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees are great examples of fruitful public-private collaborations that serve the interests of our valued intellectual property community,” said Drew Hirshfeld, Performing the Functions and Duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property (IP) and Director of the USPTO. “I am thrilled to welcome our new members and look forward to working with them to expand and strengthen the innovation ecosystem. I also want to extend my appreciation to all outgoing PAC members for their many years of outstanding service–Julie, Jennifer, Barney, Chris, Stephanie, and Kelly–your leadership has been instrumental during such an unprecedented period, and we are exceedingly grateful.”

In addition to the new members, former PPAC Vice Chair Steven P. Caltrider will now serve as Chair, and Tracy-Gene Durkin will serve as PPAC’s new Vice Chair. Former TPAC Vice Chair Susan Natland will serve as Chair, while David J. Cho will serve as TPAC’s new Vice Chair.

Current PPAC members include Jeffrey M. Sears, Jeremiah Chan, Daniel P. Brown, and Judge Susan G. Braden. TPAC members are Tricia McDermott Thompkins, Jennifer Kovalcik, Tracy L. Deutmeyer, and Joemarie B. Fredericks.

The new members of USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) include Charles Duan, Suzanne Harrison, and Heidi S. Nebel, while the new members of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) are Adraea Brown, Rodrick J. Enns, and Dana Brown Northcott, (bios for all PAC members are further below). Recent PPAC members Julie Mar-Spinola, Jennifer Camacho, and Barney Cassidy, as well as recent TPAC members Christopher Kelly, Stephanie Bald, and Kelly Walton, have rotated off the committees having completed their terms.

The Public Advisory Committees for the USPTO were created through the Patent and Trademark Office Efficiency Act statute in the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999. The committees review the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the patent and trademark operations, respectively, and advise the director on these matters.

Labor Secretary Walsh reacts to brand new jobs report, Economy added 210,000 jobs in the month of November

WASHINGTON .D.C., Dec 3rd U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh issued the following statement on the November 2021 Employment Situation Report:

“Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the American economy added 210,000 jobs in the month of November, and the unemployment rate was 4.2 percent, down from 4.6 percent in October. With more people entering the job market and an unemployment rate approaching pre-pandemic levels three years ahead of projections, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to deliver a historic, worker-centered recovery. We are committed to an inclusive recovery and among the highlights of this report were major reductions in the unemployment rates for Black workers, Hispanic workers, and workers with less than a high school diploma. ”

“The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will drive more job growth in the months and years ahead, and at the Department of Labor we are focused on making sure those new jobs are good jobs with access for all through proven pathways like Registered Apprenticeship. Moving forward, the President’s Build Back Better plan is the key to both reducing the biggest costs working families face and increasing equity in our labor market by investing in the care needs that keep so many women, especially Black women, from fully participating in our economy. We are committed to supporting all workers and their families morning, noon and night. ”

“As the holiday season begins, to stay safe and keep our economy moving forward I urge everyone to remain vigilant about COVID transmission and committed to getting yourself and your family vaccinated and boosted as soon as you are eligible.”

The Minority Business Development Agency is Permanently Authorized in Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

Washington, DC. Nov 15 – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is made permanent and will be expanded and elevated with the passage of this historic legislation. This action allows the agency to increase their programs and outreach to the Nation’s more than 9 million minority-owned businesses.

“President Biden has made clear his commitment to not just rebuilding to how things were before COVID-19, but to building back better and more equitably,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo. “The Minority Business Development Agency is ready to step into this historic moment and build on its success – because we recognize that America’s road to recovery runs through our minority business community. Making MBDA a statutory Agency provides MBDA with the authorities, workforce and resources needed to help level the playing field on behalf of minority businesses and minority entrepreneurs.”

“The Department of Commerce and MBDA play a pivotal role in promoting the growth and competitiveness of minority-owned businesses,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Don Graves. “This legislation is transformative and signifies a new era in minority business development and progress toward addressing the long-standing racial disparities in access to capital, contracts, and business ecosystems.”

“Created by Executive Order in 1969, the Minority Business Development Agency is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises,” said Miguel Estién, Acting National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency. “The Minority Business Development Act of 2021 is one of the most significant pieces of legislation impacting the minority business community in the last 50 years. I look forward to helping lead the Agency’s transformation at this critical juncture in our nation’s history.” 

The bill expands the geographic reach of the MBDA by authorizing the creation of regional MBDA offices, rural business centers, and increasing the number and scope of existing programs. 

The Act also:

  • Creates a presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development to lead the agency.
  • Increases the MBDA’s grant-making capacity to partner with community and national nonprofits engaged in private and public sector development as well as research.
  • Mandates the creation of the Parren J. Mitchel Entrepreneurship Education Grants Program to cultivate the next generation of minority entrepreneurs on the campuses HBCUs and MSIs across the Nation.
  • Creates a council to advise the Under Secretary on supporting MBEs; and
  • Authorizes the Under Secretary to coordinate federal MBE programs.

Gina Raimondo Meeting with Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hagiuda Koichi

Today, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hagiuda Koichi held an introductory meeting via teleconference.

The Secretary congratulated the Minister on his recent reappointment by the Prime Minister. The Secretary and Minister discussed opportunities to grow the U.S.-Japan commercial relationship. They also discussed collaborative efforts to improve supply chain resilience and cooperation on digital technology. The Secretary also thanked the Minister for his efforts to encourage continued Japanese investment in the United States and for the strong participation from Japanese investors at the SelectUSA Investment Summit.

USTDA Announces New Commitments at 2021 Indo-Pacific Business Forum

Arlington, VA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency announced a series of new commitments and initiatives at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) that will deepen economic ties between the United States and the Indo-Pacific region.

“For nearly 30 years, USTDA has been the partner of choice for the Indo-Pacific region’s infrastructure development, especially in the areas that are the focus of this year’s Indo-Pacific Business Forum, including climate resilience, energy, digital economy and healthcare infrastructure,” said Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally (ret.), USTDA’s Acting Director. “Hosting the Forum highlights our commitment to building lasting partnerships with this vital part of the world.”

During the IPBF, USTDA announced new funding commitments, including a feasibility study to develop four utility-scale solar generation plants with the Philippines’ Rural Electrification Finance Corporation and technical assistance to help Vietnam’s Ecotek Corporation transform its Ecopark Township into a cutting-edge smart and sustainable city.

In addition to these commitments, USTDA announced a call for aviation proposals to support new aviation infrastructure in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Interested U.S. firms as well as Southeast Asian and Pacific Island aviation stakeholders are encouraged to submit initial proposals for feasibility studies, technical assistance and pilot projects to develop airport, airspace, airline and other aviation infrastructure to USTDA by January 10, 2022.

The USTDA-sponsored IPBF is co-hosted by the U.S. and Indian governments, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. India Business Council, U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum, AMCHAM India, and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council.