« Return to this article

for people who care about the West

What is the Department of Commerce?

 

The Department of Commerce encourages economic growth and job creation. This executive branch department oversees 12 major bureaus, including the U.S. Census Bureau; the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which provides scientific measurement standards; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which conducts environmental and climate research and manages marine fisheries. The Commerce Department collects demographic, economic and environmental data; promotes international trade and investment; and grants patents and registers trademarks. Its head, the secretary of Commerce, sits on the presidential Cabinet. The department’s 2016 budget was roughly $10 billion, and it employs almost 47,000 people.