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The United States Department of Commerce is the Cabinet department of the United Statesmarker government concerned with promoting economic growth. It was originally created as the United States Department of Commerce and Labor on February 14, 1903. It was subsequently renamed to the Department of Commerce on March 4, 1913, and its bureaus and agencies specializing in labor were transferred to the new Department of Labormarker.

"The organization's mission"The mission of the department is to "promote job creation and improved living standards for all Americans by creating an infrastructure that promotes economic growth, technological competitiveness, and sustainable development." Among its tasks are gathering economic and demographic data for business and government decision-making, issuing patents and trademarks, and helping to set industrial standards.


The Department of Commerce is administerred by the United States Secretary of Commerce, the office of which is currently held by Gary Locke. Locke is the first Chinese American Secretary of Commerce, and the third Asian American in President Barack Obama's cabinet, joining Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, the most of any administration in United Statesmarker history. From 1903 to 1913, it was administered by the United States Secretary of Commerce and Labor.

Employees of the Department serve under the Competitive Service and Excepted Service. Most domestic positions are Competitive Service and most foreign positions are Excepted Service. In accordance with the Foreign Service Act of 1980, the Secretary is entitled to use the Foreign Service personnel system for positions that require service abroad.

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