WASHINGTON, DC — Engage China, a coalition of 12 financial services trade associations united in support of high-level engagement with China with an emphasis on greater market access and continued financial sector reform in China, released the following statement on the nomination of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as Ambassador to China:

“Engage China applauds the nomination of Secretary Gary Locke as U.S. Ambassador to China. Mr. Locke brings a unique understanding of China and the complexities of this bilateral relationship.

“The U.S.-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral economic relationships in the world. How this critical relationship is managed will help determine the vitality of the U.S. and global economies in the 21st century.

“As former Governor of the state of Washington, one of the U.S.’s most active exporters, Secretary Locke has a deep understanding of the issues critical to the U.S.-China relationship. His experiences as Commerce Secretary will also be valuable to this position.

“Engage China respectfully urges Mr. Locke, if confirmed, to push for greater market-opening reforms in China. China’s growing middle class represents an enormous commercial opportunity for U.S. manufacturers, service providers, farmers, and ranchers. As we strive to achieve the goals of faster economic growth, strong, sustainable job growth, and a doubling of U.S. exports within five years, greater access to the Chinese marketplace is essential. In particular, greater participation by U.S. financial institutions in China’s financial sector will help China achieve her economic goals of building a more services-based, consumer-driven economy. If given the opportunity to provide the financial products and services that China’s citizens and businesses need to save, invest, insure against risk, and consume at higher levels, U.S. financial institutions can help expand a vast new market for American-made products and services, contributing importantly to faster economic growth and job creation.

“Members of the Engage China coalition urge Senators to move for swift confirmation of Secretary Locke to this important post.”