Obama names Gary Locke Commerce secretary - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Obama names Gary Locke Commerce secretary

WASHINGTON. - President Barack Obama has named former Washington Gov. Gary Locke as his next secretary of the Department of Commerce.

Obama says Locke will be a trusted voice in his cabinet, an advocate for economic competitiveness and an ambassador for American industry.

Locke says he will use the Commerce Department to implement Obama's strategy to turn around the economy.

Locke served two terms as governor from 1997 to 2005 and has since worked for a Seattle law firm on international trade issues. Locke will need to be confirmed by the Senate, which may bring up questions over campaign contributions in the 1990s.

Two other nominees for the Commerce job withdrew: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson because of an investigation and Republican New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg because of policy disagreements.

The Commerce department oversees many aspects of international trade. It's also responsible for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the 2010 Census.

Locke is 59. He was born into a Chinese family and lived in a Seattle public housing project until he was 6. He graduated from Yale University and Boston University Law School.

He is married to Mona Lee Locke, a former television news reporter. They have three children.


Cantwell Statement on Governor Gary Locke's Nomination For Secretary of Commerce

Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement regarding the announcement that former Governor Gary Locke has been nominated by the Obama Administration as the Secretary of Commerce.

"As the country begins to tackle the tough challenges ahead of us, Governor Locke will bring years of experience and commitment to get our economy back on track and increase U.S. competitiveness.  Growing up in an immigrant family in Seattle, he made the American Dream a reality when he became Governor of Washington.  For years, he has made helping others realize their own dreams and has fought for those left behind in our communities.  Governor Locke also knows first-hand just how important fisheries are to our country's economy, and will work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency to bring issues affecting our oceans to the forefront.  He will work to increase U.S. competitiveness across the globe, and will work to get U.S. goods and services into markets like China and India.  I am confident that Governor Locke will make investing in our country and getting our economy back on track a priority." 

As Secretary of Commerce, Locke will be responsible for promoting economic growth, technological competitiveness, and sustainable development.  The Commerce Department gathers economic and demographic data for business and government decision-making, issue patents and trademarks, and help sets industrial standards.  The Department of Commerce oversees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency.


Murray Statement on Locke Nomination to Head Commerce Department

Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after President Obama nominated Gary Locke to be Commerce Secretary.

"I applaud President Obama's nomination of Gary Locke as Commerce Secretary.  Those of us from Washington state know Gary's story and record of accomplishment well.  In his over two decades of service to Washington state, Gary boosted business, created jobs and displayed the leadership needed to move our state and nation forward.

"I am particularly pleased that President Obama has chosen someone with a great understanding of the needs of the Pacific Northwest to head this agency.  Gary will not face a learning curve on critically important issues like fisheries, the environment and international trade.

"As Governor of the most trade dependent state in the nation, Gary engaged leaders from Canada to Asia to open markets for American goods.  He led our state during the tech boom and knows that our future economic strength will be heavily tied to innovation and technological advances.  And especially in this time of economic uncertainty, Gary's experience in helping small and minority-owned businesses to grow and flourish is experience that will pay off for our entire country.

"I look forward to Gary's Senate confirmation and to continuing our work together for our state and nation."

 

 

 

 

 

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