Obama loses business voice with Bryson departure
June 21st, 2012
02:05 PM ET

Obama loses business voice with Bryson departure

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - John Bryson resigned his post as Commerce Secretary on Thursday, less than two weeks after an episode involving a seizure and a series of traffic accidents.

Bryson, a former energy industry CEO, had served in the position since October, and his departure leaves the Obama administration with one fewer private-sector luminary.

Bryson brought significant business experience to the Commerce Department, having served as CEO and chairman of the parent company of Southern California Edison for almost 20 years.

Bryson retired from Edison in 2008, and was working as a senior adviser at private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co at the time of his nomination.

Bryson's selection was widely viewed as an example of the Obama administration's efforts to improve its occasionally rocky relationship with the business community.


Topics: Commerce • President Obama
Briefing Bites: Carney updates press on Sec. Bryson
June 11th, 2012
03:41 PM ET

Briefing Bites: Carney updates press on Sec. Bryson

White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar has been on TV all morning reporting on the situation surrounding Commerce Secretary John Bryson. Here's the latest from her and the team at CNN Wires on what happened to Bryson in California on Saturday:

WASHINGTON (CNN) - U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, who is under investigation for possible felony hit-and-run after allegedly causing two weekend car accidents in California, suffered a seizure, a Commerce Department spokeswoman said Monday.

Police said Bryson was found unconscious at the wheel of his car on Saturday after the two accidents.

Bryson, 68, was issued a citation at an area hospital where he received treatment, said Lt. Ariel Duran of the San Gabriel Police Department. Authorities must still decide whether to formally file any charges.

Bryson voluntarily took a breathalyzer test that detected no alcohol use, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department confirmed Monday. Results from a separate blood alcohol test were pending, Duran said.

A police statement Sunday said the investigation was in "its preliminary stages," and that there was no indication of alcohol or drugs playing a role.

You can read the full story about Saturday's incident here.

At Monday's White House briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney provided some limited updates on the situation. While he did link the secretary's health to the accidents, mostly Carney chose to refer members of the media to the Commerce Department for additional comments. FULL POST

Topics: Briefing Bites • Commerce
New Report on the Importance of Protecting Creative Ideas
Commerce Secretary John Bryson speaks during a session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Mumbai on March 29, 2012.
April 11th, 2012
08:22 PM ET

New Report on the Importance of Protecting Creative Ideas

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The protection of intellectual property is vital to virtually every aspect of the U.S. economy, according to a new report released by the Department of Commerce.

The report, titled “Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus,” highlights many industries and exports that intellectual property supports, concluding that nearly every sector of the U.S. economy relies on or uses some aspect of intellectual property.

IP refers to the creative processes of innovation and introduction of new ideas into the economy. It includes patents, trademarks, and copyrights but also extends to ideas and the creation of words, phrases, and designs.

According to Commerce Secretary John Bryson, industries affected by intellectual property account for more than 40 million jobs, 61% of exports and more than $775 billion in goods and services. At an event in Washington DC on Wednesday, Bryson said that protecting these rights is key to keeping the United States competitive.

“It's clear that intellectual property protection is more critical than ever,” the commerce secretary said. “When Americans know their ideas will be protected, they have greater incentive to pursue advances in technologies. That helps keep us competitive and makes us competitive into the future.” FULL POST

Topics: Commerce