What Is the U.S. Commerce Department?


Quick Answer

The U.S. Department of Commerce aids economic development by encouraging and promoting economic growth, international trade and technological advancement. It also administers programs to help prevent unfair foreign trade competition that harms domestic business interests.

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Full Answer

In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt signed legislation that established a new cabinet agency, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor. This legislation was the culmination of more than two decades of effort on behalf of business and labor interests to gain representation in the president's cabinet. In 1913, legislation passed to create an independent U.S. Department of Labor, thereby leaving the existing agency to represent business as the Department of Commerce.

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