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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.