Department of Commerce

The Federal Budget


Media contact:  202-482-4883
FY2012 Request:  $8.8 billion
FY2010 Enacted:  $13.9 billion

The Department of Commerce (DOC) has a broad mandate to promote economic growth and foster job creation for the American people. It has cross-cutting responsibilities in the areas of trade, technology, entrepreneurship, economic development, environmental stewardship, and statistical research and analysis. To support this important work, the President's Budget proposes $8.8 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Commerce, a decrease of $5.1 billion from the 2010 enacted level.  In addition to planned reductions due to the completion of the 2010 Decennial Census, other key reductions include those to outdated or lower priority programs, as well as administrative savings. New investments are made in areas that are critical to long-term economic growth and competitiveness, such as the President's Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative and the promotion of U.S. exports. 

Boosts American Competitiveness

  • Invests in American innovation by providing $764 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories, $75 million for the Technology Innovation Program, and $12 million for Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia; and by strengthening and speeding the review of patents at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Enhances American manufacturers' competitiveness by providing $143 million to the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which helps firms identify growth strategies and adopt more efficient manufacturing processes.
  • Promotes American exports and export-related jobs by providing $526 million for the International Trade Administration, which continues to lead the National Export Initiative.
  • Fosters the next generation of wireless broadband by supporting efforts to make 500 megahertz of additional spectrum commercially available using auctions that are expected to raise more than $27 billion over the next 10 years.  This will provide substantial benefit to consumers and businesses across the Nation and contribute to meaningful deficit reduction.
  • Invests a portion of spectrum receipts to build a public safety broadband network, expand wireless broadband to rural America, and promote cutting-edge wireless technologies that will strengthen economic growth and public safety, while benefitting from commercial innovation.
  • Invests in regional economic competitiveness by providing $325 million to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support planning, capacity building and capital projects through programs such as the Regional Innovation Program authorized in the America COMPETES Act.  As part of the program, EDA, in conjunction with the Departments of Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development, will conduct a competition for a new Growth Zones initiative to replace current Enterprise Zones, which will award qualifying communities with the strongest proposals for growth.
  • Sustains critical satellite programs to monitor the Earth’s weather and climate and improve forecasting for severe weather events to protect public safety and the economy.
  • Supports fisheries stock assessments and economic development that contributes to sustainable fishing industries and coastal communities.  
  • Advances climate science and services to meet growing demands from the public and private sector for credible and timely products that aid in planning for and responding to climate variability and change.
  • Strengthens support for the Census Bureau's economic and household data collection to help improve private- and public-sector decision-making. 

Improves the Way Taxpayer Dollars are Spent

  • The President's Budget proposes to reduce or eliminate funding for programs that are no longer necessary, such as the Emergency Steel Loan Guarantee program, lower priority statistical reports produced by the Census Bureau, the Public Telecommunications Facilities Grant program, and the Baldrige Performance Excellence program, achieving $76 million in savings. 
  • The Department has also committed to trimming its administrative costs by about $140 million through efficiencies in acquisitions, human capital, logistics, general administration, and information technology.