Department of Commerce (DOC)
federal executive division responsible for programs and policies relating to international trade, national economic growth, and technological advancement. Among the agencies under its control are the Bureau of the Census, which monitors the population of the United States; the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which monitors the U.S. economy; the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), which oversees export controls, furthers national security objectives involving commerce, and promotes U.S. strategic technology leadership; the Economic Development Administration (EDA), which provides financial assistance to economically distressed communities; the International Trade Administration (q.v.); the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), which provides assistance to minority firms; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provides maritime and marine-resources information and reports the weather of the United States; the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which promotes commercial innovation and competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology; the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), which is a central resource for government-funded information in science, technology, engineering, and business; the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which serves as the government's source of information regarding telecommunications and related technology; and the Patent and Trademark Office (q.v.).