WASHINGTON, DC ‚Äď As a member of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, today, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced, and heard testimony from, former Washington state Governor Gary Locke during his confirmation hearing to be Secretary of Commerce. President Barack Obama nominated Locke last month to oversee the Commerce Department, which is responsible for promoting job creation and improved living standards for Americans by creating an infrastructure that promotes economic growth, technological competitiveness, and sustainable development.¬† ¬†If confirmed,¬†Locke would be the 36th Secretary of Commerce.
‚ÄúGovernor Locke has the global outlook, leadership, and knowledge it‚Äôs going to take to lead the Department of Commerce through near-term challenges, while at the same time making the right decisions for the future of this country,‚ÄĚ said Cantwell. ‚ÄúAs the Governor of Washington, he knows how vital trade is to the strength of U.S. and global economies. He¬†understands the role technology plays in driving innovation and improving the quality of life.¬† And, he‚Äôs seen firsthand how complex the issues surrounding fisheries and oceans¬†can be. ¬†I know he is ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work, and I know that we couldn‚Äôt ask for a better public servant.‚ÄĚ
¬†Governor Gary Locke was elected Washington‚Äôs 21st governor on November 5, 1996, making him the first Chinese-American governor in U.S. history.¬† On November 7, 2000, Locke was re-elected to a second term. As governor, Locke worked to make Washington a better place to live, work, and raise a family by promoting excellence in education, strengthening the economy, protecting families, enhancing the environment, and modeling responsible government. Prior to being elected governor, Locke served as chief executive of King County in 1993 and took on the issues and challenges facing Washington‚Äôs largest city.
The Department¬†¬†of Commerce works to promote trade and to ensure compliance with trade laws and export controls to strengthen the international economic position of the United States; promote¬† progressive domestic business policies and growth; improve¬† comprehension and uses of the physical environment and its oceanic life;¬†¬†ensure¬† effective use and growth of the Nation's scientific and technical resources;¬†¬†acquire¬†, analyze, and disseminate¬† information regarding the¬†¬†nation and the economy to help achieve increased social and economic benefit; and assisting states, communities, and individuals with economic¬†progress.¬†
Cantwell is Chair of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard. She has made protecting our waterways from oil spills and recognizing the dangerous effects of climate change and ocean acidification a priority. She has also worked tirelessly to improve fisheries¬†management and promote conservation, while supporting a robust national fishing industry.¬†¬†