President Obama to Nominate Gary Locke as US Ambassador to China (Updated)

President Obama has announced that he will nominate Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to replace outgoing Ambassador to China, . From ABC News:

Locke is the first Chinese-American to be Secretary of Commerce. The former two-term governor of Washington state, Locke’s father and maternal grandfather emigrated from China to Seattle. As a partner in the Seattle office of the international law firm, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Locke co-chaired the firm’s China practice.

“The president asked him to take this job because Locke had the experience and relationships necessary to take on this key post,” a senior administration official tells ABC News. “With more than two decades of experience dealing with China, has forged important relationships with China’s top political leadership. There is simply no one better positioned to advocate for American interests there and build on a bilateral relationship critical for the 21st century.”

The official says that “as a Pacific Rim governor and Commerce Secretary he helped lead an historic increase in trade with China. As Commerce Secretary, Locke has delivered on the president’s goal of doubling U.S. exports in the next five years (up 17 percent in 2010), led the push for patent and export control reforms and presided over a Census count that came in 25 percent under budget – returning more than $2 billion to the Treasury.”

Read more about Gary Locke and Jon Huntsman via CDT.

Update: See additional coverage and commentary on this news:
– “Why sending Gary Locke to China makes sense” from the Washington Post
– “Locke Can “Make His Mark” in China — McDermott” from the Seattle Post Intelligencer blog
– “Gary Locke’s political career” from the Seattle Times
– “Obama to nominate Gary Locke as China ambassador” from the Christian Science Monitor
– “Factbox: Key issues in China-U.S. trade” from Reuters

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