The Senate voted unanimously today to confirm Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) as Ambassador to China. Baucus will assume the role currently held by Ambassador Gary Locke, who is set to step down March 1.
Baucus has been actively engaged on trade issues during his three decades in the Senate, particularly in his role as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. He has traveled to China eight times to discuss trade and commercial issues and has been a vocal advocate for Montana beef and other US exports. During his confirmation hearing in January before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Baucus said he would work to encourage the Chinese government to reduce barriers for US companies operating in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors and push for stronger intellectual property rights protection in China.