Late-Campaign Pledges Show American Mythologizing of Business

By: Tuesday October 30, 2012 8:30 am

Just as a reminder of how captured our government has become, President Obama has embarrassingly floated the prospect of a Secretary of Business for his second term. First of all, we already have a Secretary of Commerce, which is pretty much an irrelevant federal agency. So much so, in fact, that the President has proposed [...]

Commerce Department Puts Tariffs on Chinese Solar Panels, But Loophole May Render That Irrelevant

By: Thursday October 11, 2012 10:45 am

The Commerce Department imposed slightly lower but still robust tariffs on Chinese solar panels, alleging that subsidies undercut US prices and violate international trade laws. The Commerce Department issued its final ruling Wednesday in a long-simmering trade dispute with China, imposing tariffs ranging from about 24 to nearly 36 percent on most solar panels imported [...]

John Bryson Resigns as Commerce Secretary

By: Thursday June 21, 2012 8:54 am

Commerce Secretary John Bryson has resigned from President Obama’s cabinet, less than two weeks after he got into a string of car accidents that he blamed on a seizure. In his letter to President Obama, Bryson cites his “recent seizure and medical leave of absence” as the reason for his resignation. “I have concluded that [...]

Commerce Secretary Bryson Takes Leave of Absence After Hit-and-Run Accidents

By: Tuesday June 12, 2012 8:15 am

Commerce Secretary John Bryson, accused of a felony hit-and-run over the weekend in a series of Southern California traffic accidents, announced late Monday that he would take a leave of absence and address what he claims are medical problems that led to the crash. “I notified President Obama this evening that effective immediately I am [...]

Commerce Department Slaps Large Tariff on Chinese Solar Panels

By: Friday May 18, 2012 6:23 am

Neoliberals and conservatives will get to trot out their favorite phrase, “trade war.” And to be sure, there’s a jobs vs. environment question to be asked about this latest move by the Obama Administration. But the Commerce Department has moved ahead with slapping high tariffs on Chinese solar panels: The United States on Thursday announced [...]

White House Wants Authority to Reorganize Federal Government

By: Thursday February 16, 2012 10:22 am

President Obama has asked Congress to provide him with the authority to consolidate multiple federal agencies, the next step on a plan announced earlier in the year to reconstitute the Commerce Department and several other agencies as a trade and economic competitiveness department. In a letter to John Boehner, Jeffrey Zients, the acting director of [...]

Republicans Pretending Commerce Secretary Nominee Is a “Radical”

By: Wednesday June 8, 2011 6:15 am

Dave Weigel has the news that John Bryson, the new Commerce Secretary nominee, is being caricatured by Republicans into a cross between Al Gore and a polar bear stuck on an ice floe: Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), a member of the Senate Republican leadership team, called Bryson an “environmental extremist” in the Capitol Tuesday because [...]

The New Commerce Secretary Is Here! The New Commerce Secretary Is Here!

By: Tuesday May 31, 2011 10:40 am

President Obama will nominate former Edison International CEO John Bryson to be the next Commerce Secretary, replacing Gary Locke. Locke was nominated as the next US Ambassador to China, in place of Republican Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. Bryson was the CEO of Edison International, the parent company of the utility company Southern California Edison, from [...]

Gary Locke to Leave Commerce Secretary Job to Become US Ambassador to China

By: Tuesday March 8, 2011 9:05 am

How about a little musical cabinet? Jon Huntsman, the former Utah Governor, is leaving his post as the US Ambassador to China to explore a run for the Republican nomination for President (that “member of the Obama Administration” data point on his resume will surely get him far). Ambassador to China has become a fairly [...]

Commerce Department Could Become Department of Business, Trade and Technology

By: Monday January 31, 2011 8:24 am

During the State of the Union, President Obama promoted the well-worn strategy of “reinventing government.” Virtually every President says they will do this at one time or another. Some, like Bill Clinton, actually follow through to some extent. I don’t think it’s wrong to say that some of the government’s operations are duplicative – although [...]

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