ECONOMY GOVERNMENT & POLICY
Department of Commerce (DOC)
By
WILL KENTONUpdated Apr 5, 2021
What Is the Department of Commerce (DOC)?
The Department of Commerce (DOC) is the cabinet department in the U.S. government that deals with business, trade, and commerce to ensure economic vitality. The Department of Commerce is run by the secretary of commerce, a presidential cabinet post confirmed by the Senate. Gina Raimondo is the current Secretary of Commerce.
KEY TAKEAWAYS
Understanding Department of Commerce (DOC)
The Department of Commerce (DOC) is a Cabinet-level section of the U.S. government that is dedicated to promoting economic growth. The department works to create jobs through sustainable development, economic growth, favorable international trade terms, and the accessibility of high technology. It works closely with businesses, colleges, universities, and cities and towns to achieve those goals.
The Department of Commerce was originally part of the Department of Commerce and Labor, which was established on Feb. 14, 1903, by President Theodore Roosevelt. It became a standalone department when a separate Department of Labor was established on March 4, 1913, by President Howard Taft on his last day in office.
U.S. labor leaders began lobbying for a Department of Labor in the late 1860s, after the Civil War. In 1888, President Chester Arthur established the non-Cabinet level Department of Labor, which was intended to collect information about working people in the United States. In the late 1890s, pressure grew to establish a Department of Commerce to represent the interests of business. Labor leaders had been satisfied with the non-Cabinet department but objected to Cabinet status for business when it was not given to labor.
President Theodore Roosevelt believed that business and labor should work together; so, as pressure for a Department of Commerce grew, he used the opportunity to elevate Labor to Cabinet status as well. Pressure from the labor movement, which felt that business and labor were working in opposition, led to the split of the two departments in 1913.
In 2012, President Barack Obama proposed in his State of the Union address that the Commerce Department be replaced by a new department dedicated to the promotion of trade and exports.1´╗┐ That was included in his proposed budget that year, and in each year for the balance of his administration, without success.
Department of Commerce (DOC) Agencies
There are many bureaus and offices within the Department of Commerce (DOC). These include:
ARTICLE SOURCES
Related Terms
What Does the Department of Labor (DOL) Do?
The U.S. Department of Labor is a cabinet-level agency responsible for enforcing federal labor standards.more
What Is the U.S. Treasury?
Created in 1798, the U.S. Treasury is the government (Cabinet) department responsible for issuing all Treasury bonds, notes, and bills. Discover more here.more
How the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Works
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a government agency that produces a range of data about the U.S. economy. more
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented in 1994 to encourage trade between the countries of United States, Mexico, and Canada.more
Who Is Gina Raimondo?
Gina Raimondo is the U.S. secretary of commerce. She was previously the governor of Rhode Island. more
Defense Production Act (DPA)
The Defense Production Act (DPA) gives the president the power to order the production and supply of goods and services to support national defense. more
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