U.S. Secretary of Commerce Announces Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request

Commerce Department budget focuses on creating conditions for economic growth by promoting trade and investment, spurring innovation, and fueling data-driven economy


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today released the fiscal year 2017 budget request for the U.S. Department of Commerce. The FY17 budget request supports and builds on President Obama’s vision for creating economic opportunity for all Americans, and includes critical funding for key Commerce priorities, including promoting trade and investment, spurring innovation, and fueling our data-driven economy. The $9.7 billion FY17 budget request directly aligns with the Department’s “Open for Business Agenda,” which reflects Commerce's role as the voice of business and the Obama Administration’s focus on economic growth and job creation.  

“The Commerce Department’s fiscal year 2017 budget request reflects our role as the voice of business in the Obama Administration by making critical investments in areas that will grow our economy and create good American jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “This budget prioritizes strengthening U.S. trade and investment, spurring innovation and high-tech manufacturing, unleashing more of our data, and gathering and acting on environmental intelligence. We are committed to working with Congress to pass the President’s budget, so we can continue to transform the Department of Commerce into a true Department of Business and keep America more competitive in the global economy.” 

The FY 2017 Department of Commerce budget includes key investments in the following areas: 

Strengthening U.S. Trade and Investment:  To promote exports and foreign investment in the United States, the Budget includes $521 million for the International Trade Administration (ITA). Funding for ITA includes $20 million to expand SelectUSA, which is the U.S. government-wide effort to recruit foreign businesses to invest and create new jobs in the United States. Other funds support strengthening trade enforcement and compliance, expanding ITA’s capacity to position the United States to more effectively compete in the global marketplace, and increasing opportunities for U.S. companies by better connecting them with consumers who live outside U.S. borders. 

Strengthening U.S. Manufacturing: The Budget supports the expansion of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). Government-wide, the Budget includes discretionary funding for five new institutes, including $42 million to launch two new Commerce-led institutes and continue the operations of Commerce’s first institute slated for launch later in FY 2016. The Budget also includes a mandatory spending proposal of $1.9 billion to complete the remaining 27 institutes and create a national network of 45 manufacturing institutes over the next ten years that will position the United States as a global leader in advanced manufacturing technology.  The Budget includes an additional $5 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to coordinate the activities of the current and future institutes, leveraging the authorities in the bipartisan Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act.

Supporting 21st Century Economic Development: The Budget invests $258 million for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support innovative economic development planning, regional capacity building, and capital projects. Within this amount, $20 million is included for the Regional Innovation Strategies Program to promote economic development projects that spur entrepreneurship and innovation at the regional level.  The Budget also includes $35 million for Partnership Planning to support local organizations with their long-term economic development planning efforts and outreach.  Additionally, $85 million is provided for Public Works and $50 million for Economic Adjustment Assistance for critical investments such as 21st century infrastructure; economic diversification planning and implementation; technical assistance; and access to business start-up facilities and equipment. 

Supporting the Digital Economy: The Budget demonstrates the Administration’s continued commitment to broadband telecommunications as a driver of economic development, job creation, technological innovation, and enhanced public safety. The President’s broadband vision—supported by the Budget—of freeing up 500 MHz of spectrum, promoting broadband competition in communities throughout the country, and connecting over 99 percent of schools to high-speed broadband connections through the ConnectED initiative will create thousands of quality jobs and ensure that students have access to the best educational tools available. The Budget also highlights the Administration’s commitment to cybersecurity by supporting NIST’s efforts to improve industry’s cybersecurity risk management practices through use of the Cybersecurity Framework, as well as sustaining initiatives associated with cybersecurity automation, cybersecurity information, and identity authentication.

Spurring Innovation for American Businesses: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) continues to lead America’s innovation community by making it easier for American entrepreneurs and businesses to develop, protect, and scale their inventions – converting mere ideas into concrete realities. These breakthroughs help pave the way for new technologies, jobs, and even entire industries. As the USPTO continues to carry out the mandates of the America Invents Act, it remains focused on adopting policies and programs that embolden and strengthen our intellectual property system. Investments in the quality and clarity of a patent right in the marketplace, durable long term IT investments, and an in-house patent review process, are allowing the USPTO to improve the quality of the patents being issued, provide a faster and lower cost alternative to district court disputes, and ensure businesses can focus on innovation not litigation. The Budget supports a program level of $3.2 billion for USPTO, a level that would allow USPTO to fund operations, further implement administrative actions proposed by the President’s Patent Task Force, and build an intellectual property system fit for the 21st century.

Investing in an Efficient and Effective 2020 Decennial Census: The Census Bureau is committed to achieving a 2020 Census that delivers on the core mission to count everyone in the U.S. once, and only once, and keeps costs at or below the per-household cost of the 2010 decennial census, adjusted for inflation, potentially saving over $5 billion compared to the costs of repeating the 2010 Census design. The Budget provides $1.6 billion to support key development and implementation of innovative design methods necessary to achieve these goals for the 2020 Decennial Census. This includes $103 million allotted for the Census Enterprise Data Collection and Processing (CEDCaP) IT system that provides a foundation for newly-automated 2020 data collection and processing operations.

Gathering and Acting on Environmental Intelligence: The Department’s environmental agenda aims to help communities and businesses prepare for and prosper in a changing environment. The Budget provides $5.8 billion to advance the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) ability to understand and anticipate changes in the Earth’s environment, improve society’s ability to make scientifically informed decisions, deliver vital services to the economy and public safety, and conserve and manage ocean and coastal ecosystems and resources.

The Budget provides $1 billion for the National Marine Fisheries Service and $570 million for the National Ocean Service, including $20 million for an expanded competitive Regional Coastal Resilience Grants Program to help reduce the risks and impacts associated with extreme weather events and changing ocean conditions and uses. 

The Budget invests in NOAA’s observational infrastructure, including $2.3 billion to fully fund the next generation of weather and environmental satellites.  This includes $393 million for the Polar Follow-On satellite program enabling NOAA to maintain an optimal launch schedule, helping minimize the risks associated with any potential gap in weather data.  The Budget also includes $24 million to construct a new Regional Survey Vessel (RSV) capable of conducting fisheries surveys, habitat characterizations, and other mission-critical activities.

The Budget also invests $1.1 billion for the National Weather Service, including funding increases for critical infrastructure.    

To view a fact sheet on the budget, visit: https://www.commerce.gov/news/fact-sheets/2016/02/fact-sheet-fy-2017-us-department-commerce-budget.

To view the full Department of Commerce FY17 budget request, visit: http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/budget/FY17BIB/AllFilesWithCharts2.pdf.

Last updated: 2016-02-09 17:14

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