us department of commerce

About Commerce

The mission of the Department is to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity.

The Department of Commerce promotes job creation and economic growth by ensuring fair and reciprocal trade, providing the data necessary to support commerce and constitutional democracy, and fostering innovation by setting standards and conducting foundational research and development. Through our bureaus and 46,608 employees (as of January 31, 2018) located in all 50 states, every U.S. territory, and more than 86 countries, we provide U.S.-based companies and entrepreneurs invaluable tools through programs such as the Decennial Census, the National Weather Service, NOAA Fisheries, and the Foreign Commercial Service. Among many other functions, the Department oversees ocean and coastal navigation, helps negotiate bilateral trade agreements, and enforces laws that ensure a level playing field for American businesses and workers.


The Department of Commerce was originally created as the US Department of Commerce and Labor on February 14, 1903. It was subsequently renamed the Department of Commerce on March 4, 1913, as the bureaus and agencies specializing in labor were transferred to the new Department of Labor. As the Federal government grew and evolved, other bureaus were transferred to and from the Commerce Department, giving it a rich history and unique role in the Cabinet.

What do we expect to accomplish by creating a Department of Commerce? The name of the new Department answers the question. We hope to develop new fields of profitable trade and foster old ones. We hope to facilitate industrial development and promote commerce at home and abroad….We will look to this Department to give direction to the energetic campaign that has for its object the conquest of the markets of the world by American merchants and manufacturers.”

— Congressman Charles F. Cochiran, Congressional Record, January 15,1903

Enjoy the photographic history of the 100th Anniversary of the Department of Commerce.

Strategic goals

The Department has one overarching goal: Helping the American Economy Grow. Each of the Department’s five strategic goals advances our mission and supports this goal:

Read our 2018–2022 strategic plan

More about Commerce’s organization

Portals and partners

Department-wide policies

 Policies for the DOC website

U.S. Department of Commerce 2018-2022 Strategic Plan9.41 MB

Bureaus and Offices


Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)U.S. Census BureauEconomic Development Administration (EDA)Office of the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs(OUS/EA)International Trade Administration (ITA)Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST)National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA)National Technical Information Service (NTIS)National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)Office of the Secretary (OS)

OS Offices

Office of the Chief of StaffOffice of General Counsel (OGC)Office of the Deputy SecretaryOffice of Executive SecretariatOffice of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs(OLIA)Office of Public Affairs (OPA)Office of Policy and Strategic Planning (OPSP)Office of the White House Liaison (OWHL)Office of Inspector General (OIG)Office of Business Liaison (OBL)Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration (CFO/ASA)Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO)Enterprise Services (ES)Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (CFBNP)