U.S. Secretary of Commerce and former governor of Washington Gary Locke will become the newest U.S. Ambassador to China in April. As I reported earlier, this appointment comes at a time when the majority of Americans believe China, not the U.S., is the world’s economic superpower. Some models show China’s GDP to be currently as large as that of the United States, and nearly all economists agree that, given China’s current pace of GDP growth, its GDP will surpass that of the Unites States within a decade.
Locke’s appointment is unique. He is not a career diplomat, but rather has overseen one of the country’s enormous export states (Boeing and Apple have their headquarters there). At a time when U.S.-China trade is weighing heavily on the minds of Americans and Chinese, Locke brings a unique viewpoint to the table.
Gary Locke will be giving a closed address Tuesday at the 2011 Asia Pacific Business Outlook conference at USC, and I’ll be covering his speech. Locke is expected to address currency, trade and other U.S.-China issues. Stay tuned for more on Locke’s APBO address.