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Date: Tues, 2 Apr 2002
From: TInews Announcement <announce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
To: TInews Announcement <tiannounce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
Subject: Welcoming of New Deputy Assistant Secretary and New Office Name

=== TINEWS ===================================

An information service from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI)
U.S. International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

April 2, 2002

Welcoming of New Deputy Assistant Secretary and New Office Name

We are pleased to welcome the leadership of Douglas B. Baker as the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Service Industries, Tourism and Finance. He has served in this position since November 13, 2001.

Mr. Baker oversees and manages four separate offices, which develop trade policy and implement trade promotion activities for US businesses in the service, tourism and finance industries. The services sector represents approximately 75% of the economy of the United States. In 2001, services generated $283 billion in exports for the country. The U.S. also enjoys a trade surplus of $80 billion. This is the 31st consecutive trade surplus in services which helps to offset the $427 merchandise trade deficit.

This office also works with companies that seek to increase exports under the Export Company Trading Affairs Act, which was signed into law in 1982, by then President Ronald Reagan. This program provides certain antitrust protections for businesses that create partnerships for the express purpose of exporting, with a strong focus on small and medium-sized businesses.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Baker served as the executive director and deputy general counsel for the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority from 1999-2001. During his tenure, the Sports Authority developed and financed more than $1,000,000,000 in sports-related infrastructures. Mr. Baker was associated with the law firm of Looper, Reed, Mark & McGraw from 1993 to 1998. He practiced public and administrative law, as well as commercial litigation. Mr. Baker developed a practice representing clients before state and local governments, in addition to representing local governmental entities. In 1991-1992, Mr. Baker served as a law clerk for a United States District Court Judge in Houston, Texas.

Mr. Baker also served in the second Reagan administration, where he was a policy analyst at the Agency for International Development. His office was responsible for researching and preparing summaries of the current political situation in emerging democratic countries, in addition to providing direct electoral assistance to these countries. In 1990, Mr. Baker served as associate staff counsel to the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he focused on energy regulatory matters.

A native of Houston, Texas, Mr. Baker received his B.A. degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his J.D. degree from South Texas College of Law, in Houston, Texas. In 2001 Mr. Baker was honored by the Houston Jaycees, as an outstanding Young Houstonian. Mr. Baker and his wife have recently relocated to Alexandria, Virginia.

Concurrent with Mr. Baker's arrival, the Tourism Industries office was renamed the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) and merged with the offices of Service Industries and Finance. To learn more about the Office of Service Industries, Tourism and Finance please visit the Commerce website at: http://www.ita.doc.gov/sif OTTI's website address remains the same, go to http://tinet.ita.doc.gov

The OTTI staff size has remained the same, but the budget did see a significant increase in FY 2002 funding to provide for more research statistics. The mandate of the Office expanded since September 11th to incorporate assistance in the domestic market recovery as well as the international market, which has been the traditional role for OTTI.

Since joining Commerce, Mr. Baker has been very active in working with the industry. He has appeared at a number of trade shows and met with regional tourism promotion organizations. He also provides leadership assistance to Assistant Secretary Linda Conlin with the development of the Tourism Policy Council, which has held monthly meetings, with over 15 federal agencies and offices involved in travel and tourism, since 9/11. Mr. Baker would like to encourage the industry to reach out to him to help define the role Commerce should play in assisting the industry's recovery from the tragic events of September 11.

Please join us in welcoming Mr. Baker to his oversight role in the Department of Commerce for the travel and tourism industry. He can be reached at (202) 482-5261.

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Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 7025
Washington, D.C. 20230
(202) 482-0140, fax: (202) 482-2887
e-mail: otti@trade.gov

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