Nicholas C. Tolerico served from 1986 to 1990 as director, Office of Agreements Compliance, International Trade Administration at Commerce. He is director of federal relations for the LTV Corp.

The Commerce Department's $2.8 billion 1992 budget never contains surprises. In fact, you can always count on three things: 1) the department's total spending won't change much from the preceding year; 2) the administration will again propose eliminating the Economic Development Administration, and 3) Commerce's Great Hall (renamed the Baldrige Hall after former secretary of commerce Malcolm Baldrige) will again be converted either into or back from a "Visitors Center." This year's budget proposes $4 million to "rehabilitate" the hall into a White House visitor's center. Be sure to take your out-of-town guests to visit the new center before the next budget year.

Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology's 1992 research and development budget was expanded by 13 percent to $248 million and is projected to double by 1996. This clearly will make the scientists in Gaithersburg very happy. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's $66 million share of the budget's global warming research spending gives the agency a major stake in the hottest environmental issue of the '90s. On the other hand, a warming of U.S.-Soviet relations has reduced the budget and the export licenses issued by the Bureau of Export Administration.