President Barack Obama is asking Congress for authority to merge a series of federal agencies that deal with trade and commerce.
Addressing reporters in the East Room of the White House, he said consolidating the U.S. Commerce Department with several other federal agencies would save money, boost global trade and make the government more efficient.
“We live in a 21st-century economy, but we have still got a government organized for the 20th century,” he said. “Our economy has fundamentally changed, as has the world, but our government, our agencies, have not.”
Obama wants to consolidate the work and staff of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Trade and Development Agency, among others.