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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gary Locke Nominated as Ambassador to China

Gary Locke, former White House Secretary of Commerce, has been nominated by the President as U.S. ambassador to China.

Locke replaces former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who has stepped down to (wait for it) possibly challenge President Obama in the 2012 presidential race.

Locke was the first Chinese-American governor and should the Senate approve his nomination, would the be first Chinese-American ambassador to China.  He is a partner in the Seattle office of the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine which lists China as one of its specialties.

"Gary has distinguished himself as one of our nation’s most respected and admired public servants.  As our country’s first Chinese-American governor, he worked tirelessly to attract jobs and businesses to Washington State, and he doubled exports to China", said President Obama during this morning's announcement.

"He’s been a point person for my National Export Initiative, and last year, Gary’s department led an historic number of trade missions that helped promote American businesses and support American jobs.  He’s overseen an increase in American exports, and particularly exports to China, a country we recently signed trade deals with that will support 235,000 American jobs."

On his nomination, Locke remarked:  "I’m excited to take on this new challenge, as is my wife and our children to varying degrees among the kids, and we’ll be leaving Washington, D.C., with great memories and many new friends.

Locke said his father, who passed this past January, would mark today's occasion as "one of his proudest moments to see his son named as the United States ambassador to his ancestral homeland."

No mention as of today on Locke's replacement in the role of Secretary of Commerce.

On Locke: Locke's daughter, Emily turned 14 today.  We also learned that Elizabeth, the sister of Press Secretary Jay Carney, also shares a birthday today, as does the publisher/founder of Politics. On Point.
On Huntsman:  Jon Huntsman was former U.S. ambassador to Singapore. He and his wife adopted a daughter from China. He served as national co-chair of John McCain's Republican presidential campaign.  On accepting President Obama's position as ambassador to China he said he never expected "to be called into action by the person who beat us."

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