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Blog Category: U.S. Ambassador to China

Secretary Locke Resigns, Becomes Next Ambassador to China; Acting Deputy Secretary Blank Assumes Role of Acting Secretary

Secretary Clinton applauds Gary Locke as his wife and children look on

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke formally resigned today and was sworn-in by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the next U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. Dr. Rebecca M. Blank, Acting Deputy Secretary of the Commerce Department, will serve as Acting Commerce Secretary. Blank has served as Acting Deputy Secretary since November 2010.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime serving as Commerce Secretary for President Obama.  I’m proud of the men and women with whom I had the privilege to work and the tremendous accomplishments we’ve made together in the last 28 months,” Ambassador Locke said.

“From increasing U.S. exports and reducing patent application wait times, to creating the foundation for a national smart grid and taking an important first step to reform the export control system, we have helped create jobs, lay the foundation for future economic growth and made American companies more innovative at home and more competitive abroad. And we did all of this while making the Commerce Department more efficient and responsive to its stakeholders," Locke noted, citing the 2010 Census in particular.

Under Locke’s leadership, the Commerce Department also reduced the average time needed to award a competitive economic development grant from 140 days to 20 days; streamlined Department business services through the Commerce Connect one-stop shop initiative; efficiently distributed nearly $5 billion in Recovery Act funds for broadband development in under 18 months, which helped create more than 120,000 miles of broadband infrastructure; and, oversaw a significant first step in the President’s export control reform effort, which strengthens our national security, while making U.S. companies more competitive by easing their licensing burden for exports to partners and allies.

President Obama Nominates Secretary Locke to be the New U.S. Ambassador to China

President Obama Nominates Secretary Locke to be the New U.S. Ambassador to China

At the White House this morning, President Obama announced Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as his choice to be the next Ambassador to China. As Commerce Secretary, Locke has earned the trust of business leaders across America, advocating on behalf of America’s businesses and U.S. exports all around the world. In 2010, Commerce led an unprecedented number of trade missions worldwide, promoting American businesses and products, and Locke has been a point person for the President’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports in five years, creating several million new jobs. Additionally, as Commerce Secretary, Locke has helped make progress on the critical partnership between the U.S and China, expanding opportunities for American companies and American workers, and negotiating the opening of the Chinese market to U.S. goods and services. Read Secretary Locke's remarks and watch the video of the announcement below. | Public reaction to announcement |  White House blog