Commerce Dept. budget shows increase

Feb. 13, 2012 at 6:15 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Advanced manufacturing, new trade promotion efforts and innovation investments are supported in the U.S. Commerce Department's budget request, officials said.

The department requested $8 billion for fiscal year 2013, an increase of 5 percent over the current budget, Commerce officials said in a release Monday.

The budget allocated $517 million to the International Trade Administration to better promote U.S. exports in key markets abroad and improve trade enforcement, Commerce officials said.

More than $10 billion of mandatory budget resources will help build an inter-operable public safety broadband network that will enhance economic growth and public safety while benefiting from commercial innovation. Costs would be offset by proceeds from auctioning spectrum that will be used to expand wireless broadband access and services, officials said.

Also funded are the department's data collection activities, such as the 2012 Economic Census and the American Community Survey.

The budget request would provide $708 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories, $128 million in the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and $21 million for Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia, to develop measurements, standards, and technologies to support advanced manufacturing, robotics, nanotechnology, and cybersecurity.

The FY 2013 budget request includes new investments to spur job creation and economic growth, and identifies $176 million in savings and efficiencies through lower-cost acquisition efforts, better facilities and fleet management and and lower overhead expenses, Commerce Secretary John Bryson said.

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