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Press Release



Monday, February 4, 2008


Commerce Department FY 2009 Budget Highlights the President’s Priorities and Commitments

FY 2009 Budget Request Maintains Commitment to Economic Growth, U.S. Competitiveness, Clean Oceans and Spending Restraint

WASHINGTON—Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez today announced that the President’s FY 2009 Budget request of $8.18 billion for the U.S. Department of Commerce reflects the Bush Administration’s continuous efforts to promote job growth, U.S. competitiveness, and environmental stewardship.

“The President’s Budget for the Commerce Department will further our goals of promoting economic growth, measuring American life, enforcing our trade laws, promoting innovation, predicting the weather and protecting our environmental resources such as our oceans,” said Gutierrez. “The President’s Budget reflects the commitment to fulfilling our mission through the Department’s 38,000 employees continued excellent service to their country.”

The Department of Commerce is comprised of 12 agencies or bureaus, and their respective budget highlights are summarized below:

The President’s request for $4.1 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) underscores the Administration’s commitment to environmental stewardship. NOAA is comprised of several operating units including the National Weather Service (NWS), which includes the Tropical Prediction Center’s National Hurricane Center, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Ocean Service (NOS), Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) and the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS).

The $4.1 billion requested includes:

  • $1.16 billion for NESDIS which includes $242 million for the next generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R) and $74 million for the restoration of two high priority climate sensors that were removed during the Nunn McCurdy review of the tri-agency National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) program.
  • $931 million for NWS to enhance weather prediction. These funds include $37 million in program increases supporting NWS operations, research, and systems maintenance and acquisitions.
  • $724 million for NMFS which includes increases of $66 million, of which $32 million directly supports implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006.
  • $477 million for NOS, which provides an increase of $49 million including $10 million for implementing the Ocean Research Priorities Plan, $7 million for Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program competitive grants, and $4 million for marine debris research, prevention, and reduction.
  • $383 million for OAR. Requested program increases include $10 million for climate and weather research which includes $2 million for improvements to the National Integrated Drought Information System and $4 million for improvements to operational weather forecasts and hurricane research.

The President’s FY 2009 Budget request includes $638 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to provide advanced measurement science, standards, and technology disciplines such as nanotechnology, quantum information science and neutron research. The President’s FY 2009 request for NIST puts the Administration’s goals back on track toward doubling NIST’s core budget by 2016 as called for in the President’s American Competitiveness Initiative. The request includes increases of $71 million for research initiatives at NIST Laboratories and National Research Facilities, and $62 million for construction and major renovations, also part of the President’s 10-year American Competitiveness Initiative. The budget request for NIST also includes $4 million to transition the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership consulting centers to a self-supporting basis.

The Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA), the parent agency of the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), produces data and analysis that have made the United States a world leader in objective and accurate economic information. BEA produces some of the Nation’s most important economic statistics including the gross domestic product (GDP) as well as other regional, national, international and industry-specific information. The President’s FY 2009 Budget request includes $91 million for ESA and BEA to continue to produce and expand vital economic data. This includes a $3.2 million increase to develop a more accurate and comprehensive measure of the health care sector and a $2.5 million increase to extend the prototype research and development (R&D) satellite accounts to be incorporated into the GDP accounts.

ESA’s Census Bureau is the leading source of quality data regarding the Nation’s population and economy. The President’s FY 2009 Budget requests $2.6 billion in discretionary funds for the Census Bureau, including $2.1 billion for the 2010 Decennial Census: a program increase of $1.3 billion. These funds will go toward improving the accuracy of map features, continuing the annual American Community Survey and implementation of early 2010 Decennial Census operations. The budget includes $45.7 million to continue the full Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) sample of 45,000 households that will begin in September 2008. This is a $21 million increase that will allow for improvements to the current SIPP system by FY 2012, such as updating computer programming and improving survey content. Also included is an increase of $8.1 million for an initiative to improve the measurement of the service sector, expanding both quarterly and annual coverage to provide decision-makers with more comprehensive and timely data.

The President’s FY 2009 Budget request recommends $19 million in discretionary budget authority for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). NTIA develops telecommunications and information policy and is responsible for the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Fund (DTTPSF). During FY 2009, NTIA estimates obligating $592 million from the DTTPSF to support several one-time programs, most notably $472 million for the Digital-to-Analog Television Converter Box Program. The other $120 million in DTTPSF obligations include $50 million to implement a national tsunami warning system and $60 million to assist low power television stations in upgrading their signals from analog to digital formats.

The International Trade Administration (ITA) supports U.S. commercial interests at home and abroad by strengthening the competitiveness of American industries and workers. The President’s FY 2009 Budget requests $420 million for ITA, including a $4.2 million increase for enforcement of the Countervailing Duty Law with respect to China and other non-market economies.

The requested funding will allow ITA to implement the following priorities:

  • Enforcing strong trade law;
  • Ensuring compliance with and enforcement of trade agreements;
  • Supporting the conclusion of the Doha Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations;
  • Supporting the development and implementation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and other bilateral/regional initiatives;
  • Strengthening public-private partnerships and implementing commercial strategies to promote exports;
  • Expanding market access and promoting U.S. exports in priority markets.
  • Improving the domestic business environment to ensure that U.S. firms remain globally competitive;

For the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the President’s FY 2009 Budget requests $2.1 billion in spending authority which includes increases of $64 million for patent process and $4 million for trademark process to optimizing quality and timeliness of each. The increased funding will allow USPTO to hire additional examiners, reduce application processing and continue to improve the electronic filing system. Consistent with prior years, the Administration proposes to fund the USPTO budget exclusively through offsetting fee collections, which are projected to cover the proposed spending authority.

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) maintains an effective export control and treaty compliance system and promotes continued U.S. technology leadership in industries essential to national security. The President’s FY 2009 Budget requests $84 million for BIS, including $2.4 million in initiatives to upgrade export enforcement and to ensure compliance through end-user checks in foreign countries.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) helps local communities promote a favorable business environment to attract investments and create jobs. The President’s FY 2009 Budget requests $133 million for EDA to continue to assist distressed communities, and to administer and monitor its programs which include more than 540 planning, technical assistance, and economic adjustment investments awarded each year. It will also continue the trade adjustment program for firms; and 584 revolving loan funds ($834 million in assets), in addition to its construction investments in economic adjustment and public works.

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) promotes the ability of minority business enterprises to grow and participate in the global economy. The President’s FY 2009 request includes $29 million to enable MBDA to continue its activities to increase minority business enterprise access to the financing and market.

The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) collects and preserves scientific, technical, engineering and other business-related information from Federal and international sources and disseminates it to the American business and industrial research community. NTIS operates a revolving fund for the payment of all expenses incurred and does not receive appropriated funds.