Commerce Secretary and former Governor of Washington, Gary Locke, is “breezing through” confirmation hearings in Congress to become the next Ambassador to China, replacing Jon Huntsman, who is expected to launch a presidential bid soon. From Reuters:
A former governor of Washington state and lawyer long involved in trade with China, Locke has played a key role in the Obama administration’s efforts to cut a trade deficit with that fast-growing economic power that now looks on pace to exceed last year’s record of $273 billion.
“The commercial relationship between our nations stands at a crossroads, a relationship that can no longer be characterized by China making and the United States taking,” he said in a prepared statement to the committee.
China must follow through on commitments to protect intellectual property, stop using government procurement policies to force foreign companies to transfer technology and to make its regulations more transparent, Locke said.
“Rebalancing our economic relationship will require the type of market opening that the implementation of these commitments will bring,” he told senators.
Locke, nominated by President Barack Obama in March, made his remarks during a confirmation hearing before the committee, which is expected to support Locke. The full Senate is then expected to confirm him.
See also: “Locke Promises to Press for Human Rights as China Ambassador” from the San Francisco Chronicle.