The Commerce Department would be leaner in cash and personnel under President Reagan's fiscal 1984 budget, with most of the decreases coming out of the hides of the Economic Development Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Commerce's estimated outlays in 1983 are $2.04 billion. The 1984 budget envisions outlays of $1.74 billion, a decrease of $300 mil1ion, or 6.8 percent, not taking inflation into account. The department's work force would be reduced to 33,121, a loss of 2,280 jobs.
The administration again proposes to abolish the EDA, a Great Society job-creating program that Commerce officials have called "the greatest pork barrel Congress ever conceived." The move would save $144 million in outlays for 1984 and cost 184 jobs.
At NOAA, which has broad responsibilities for programs involving the seas, coastal areas, atmosphere, weather and commercial fisheries, the trims would entail nearly $110 million and 1,263 jobs.
The largest cut, $59 million, would come in ocean and coastal programs. The administration wants legislation passed to let it raise the prices of aviation and nautical charts to offset nearly half of that. But test tubes would be corked for ocean pollution projects, and the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory would close its doors.
Funding would be reduced for research aimed at finding oil and minerals because the administration wants private industry to do it. The $35 million Sea Grant program, which is to coastal universities what the Land Grant program was to agricultural colleges, would be scrapped. The budget also rains on the National Weather Service, which would lose research money and staff. The fisheries research fleet would be drydocked in favor of cheaper charter boats, and the agency's C130 atmospheric research plane would be grounded. (The P3 hurricane planes would still fly, however.)
At the International Trade Administration, the budget proposes to abolish its program of trade adjustment assistance for businesses, saving $20 million. But the budget proposes a new goodie for the trade agency: $2.7 million and 35 new positions to help put a stop to illegal technology transfers and set up a computer tracking system for export license applications. The National Bureau of Standards would lose $20 million, most of it from building and fire research programs; the administration wants to try to break even on its voluntary laboratory accreditation program by increasing fees.
The one winner at Commerce is the Patent and Trademark Office. A new user fee is expected to reduce budgetary needs sharply in the future, but for now, the office's budget request is up nearly $4 million and its staff would grow by 139.