The Department of Commerce is home to important institutions such as the Census Bureau and Patent and Trademark Office. It is also home to many unneeded programs that subsidize businesses and fund local development projects. In addition, the department administers misguided foreign trade policies that try to boost exports and restrict imports.
The department will spend about $11 billion in 2012, or almost $100 for every U.S. household. It employs 41,000 workers and has more than 250 offices in the United States and abroad.
- Economic Development Administration. This agency provides subsidies to state and local governments for activities that are not proper federal responsibilities.
- International Trade Administration. While trade is important to the U.S. economy, the ITA’s activities can distort trade and lead to political favoritism and corruption.
- Business Subsidies. A number of the department’s programs subsidize business activities, which creates an unfair and unneeded burden on taxpayers.