What is the Department of Commerce?:
The Department of Commerce covers many disparate areas that impact the U.S. Economy, including:
- Bureau of Economic Analysis provides important economic research.
- Bureau of the Census counts the population every 10 years.
- International Trade Administration promotes trade.
- The Patent and Trademark Office protects intellectual property.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) does research to protect the oceans.
- The Economic Development Administration provides grants to support strategically important economic activity.
How the Department of Commerce Affects the U.S. Economy:
Overall, the Commerce Department helps to set both domestic and international trade policy, which directly affects the economy. The Office of the Trade Representative is responsible for successfully negotiating trade agreements
with countries with desirable natural resources
. These trade agreements can lower the cost of imports
It also enforces existing policy on trade, intellectual property and technology standards. This reassurance increases the competitive ranking of the U.S. by attracting high technology companies.
It also provides economic research which is critical to maintaining a reliable economy. For example, if last quarters GDP is revised downward, Wall Street investors may turn bearish because they anticipate a further decline in the economy.
How the Department of Commerce Affects You:
Successful trade agreements will ultimately lower the cost of the things you buy. The impact of the economic indicator reports by the BEA and the Census have an immediate impact on Wall Street traders, and therefore on you. It is in your best interest to be aware of these reports so that you can change your financial strategy when needed.