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Locke Confirmed as U.S. Commerce Secretary

Gary Locke, a former governor of Washington, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be Secretary of the Department of Commerce; the voice vote was unanimous. In his nomination of Locke last month, President Barack Obama said, "Gary will be a trusted member of my cabinet, a tireless advocate for our economic competitiveness, and an influential ambassador for American industry who will help us do everything we can -- especially now -- to promote our industry around the world." As Commerce Secretary, Locke will oversee a department that is charged with promoting U.S. business interests through international trade, foreign direct investment, and domestic economic development. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he is also charged with leading the expansion of the nation's broadband infrastructure. Commerce will also lead the 2010 U.S. Census. Locke, 59, was the nation's first Chinese-American governor and is the grandson of immigrants. He served as governor of Washington from 1997 to 2005 and has most recently worked as an attorney specializing in international trade issues.

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