Can a free-trade democrat achieve Senate confirmation?

Word on the street is that President Obama will soon name former Washington Gov. Gary Locke as Commerce Secretary. This is an interesting choice considering Locke’s views on trade issues and the isolationist tone many Democrat Senators have gravitated toward lately.

Is Senate confirmation a given on this one?Here is what the Wall Street Journal has to say:

A lawyer by training, Mr. Locke moved to an international law firm, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, focusing on Chinese trade.
Mr. Locke long has been an advocate of free trade, supporting former President Bill Clinton’s effort to make China a member of the World Trade Organization, and supporting the North American Free Trade Agreement. While he was governor, Mr. Locke paid two visits to China to promote trade, once touring an ancestral village. Mr. Locke is likely to be grilled on his views on trade during his confirmation process.

And also remember that Locke led efforts among Governors to grant most-favored-nation trading status for China and to have the nation join the World Trade Organization.

Those accomplishments don’t seem to line up with at least one US Senator who talked a lot last year (see here and here) about ending the shipping of jobs oversees.

So here is the big question: What will Senator Merkley do? Will he continue to let his campaign promises and continue his isolationist rhetoric or will he support Obama and vote for Locke’s confirmation?

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Posted by at 02:15 | Posted in Measure 37 | Leave a comment |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post

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