Title: Dept. of Commerce Records
Dept. of Commerce
California State Archives
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[Identification of item], Dept. of Commerce Records, F3698:1-534, California State Archives.
The World Trade Authority is composed of three organizations: San Francisco World Trade Center Authority, (
Stats. 1947, ch. 1508), California World Trade Authority Coordinating Council, (
Stats. 1963, ch. 1770), and Southern California World Trade Center Authority, (
Stats. 1965, ch. 301).
From 1947 to 1965 the San Francisco World Trade Center Authority (S.F.W.T.C.A.) existed as the sole state agency involved
in international development. Its objective was to foster and develop domestic and international trade by establishing world
trade centers in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and specific representation in key areas of the international community.
The California World Trade Authority Coordinating Council was established to coordinate the activities of the two centers
and manage overseas trade development. The council, composed of nine members, (three from S.F.W.T.C.A., three from S.C.W.T.C.A.
and three at-large), became operative in 1965. It administered the foreign trade offices (i.e. Mexico, Japan and Germany),
and engaged in projects to expand the export of California's products.
The objectives of the Southern California World Trade Center Authority were the same as the S.F.W.T.C.A. but related to Southern
The activities of these organizations were consolidated under the California World Trade Authority in 1968 (
Stats. 1968, ch. 1352) and in 1969 placed under the newly established Department of Commerce within the Agriculture Services Agency,
Stats. 1969, ch. 1161).
Several agencies which had conducted closely related programs of economic development were placed under the direction of this
single department. The divisions of World Trade, Tourism and Visitor Services, Economic Development, and Museum of Science
and Industry evolved from the defunct World Trade Center Authorities, the former Office of Tourism and Visitor Services, the
Economic Development Agency, and the California Museum of Science and Industry. The objective of the department was to encourage
growth in California's economy through attracting new and expanded business and industry, stimulating additional employment
for Californians, and enlarging the local and state revenue base to support necessary public services.
The Department of Commerce was transferred from the Agriculture and Services Agency to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor
by executive direction January 21, 1971. Many of the records reflect the Lieutenant Governor's responsibilities as liaison
officer, coordinator, advisor, chairman, member or ex-officio member of such committees and commissions as aerospace re-employment;
summer jobs for youth; California Chamber of Commerce; shipbuilding; CAL-JOB Program; Space Shuttle Task Force; federal contracts;
economic development; industry and world trade; tourism and visitor services; Museum of Science and Industry; and those concerned
with the business sector and state and local governments.
The California Commission for Economic Development was established in 1971 (Ch. 1230) to replace the Commissions of Industry
and World Trade and Tourism and Visitor Services. The Commission's responsibilities were to identify weaknesses in California's
economy; evaluate the extent of unemployment problems; and design realistic programs to expand the economy.
The California Council of Product Design and Marketing (Ch. 1579) was added in 1971. The purpose of the Council was to improve
California's industrial base, thereby increasing employment in the State through increased utilization of design services
by the State's producers.
By 1972 the Division of Business and Industry Development had replaced the Division of Economic Development. Its prime function
involved balancing environmentally acceptable new businesses and industry and assisting in the expansion of established California
Funds for the Department of Commerce ceased after June 30, 1975, whereupon the department terminated operations.
Records from the former Office of Tourism (
Stats. 1964, 1st Ex. Session, ch. 101), 1966-68 and the Economic Development Agency (
Stats. 1959, ch. 1911), 1966-67 are included in this record group.