Gary Locke, now a prominent figure in the U.S. Government is charged with the responsibility of forming U.S. Commercial policy across the globe.  Gary is a recent appointee into the Obama administration and career politician.  Prior to his current position, Mr. Locke served two terms as the governor of Washington.  Given his new role, the obvious question becomes: How will Mr. Locke’s policies impact global trade?  Here are two points to consider:

  • Trade Promotion

Having recently attended the Trade North America Conference in Detroit, I had firsthand experience with businesses who are exporting across the globe.  I spoke with many exporters including a Mexican business consulting firm, a global trade bank, and several international trade law firms.

To me, this event highlighted the enormous demand to bring international business people together to bridge relationships and new levels of understanding across the borders.  Given the focus of the conference, most of the attendees were either currently exporting or looking to export within the NAFTA region.  Conference topics ranged from utilization of public resources like Michigan State University’s International Business Center to Canadian and Mexican customs and immigration.

From my perspective, the best part of the conference was the continual opportunity to meet and learn from other businesspeople.  The rich diversity of both industry and function helped me to understand where International Trade is today and where it will be going in the near future.

Although Gary Locke was not in attendance, he has shown his dedication to events such as Trade North America.  His drive to continue to open borders and trade seems apparent throughout most of his public appearances. 

  • Green Energy

Among some of his top priorities, the Secretary has addressed climate change in a myriad of venues.  One of the more telling speeches of his position on green energy and climate change was divulged at an event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, China.

Mr. Locke emphasized the partnership that will be required between the United States and China to lower greenhouse gas emissions.  He called upon each government to incentivize entrepreneurs to invent new technologies that will change the way energy is utilized around the world.  With the U.S. and China being the largest polluters of greenhouse gasses, the Secretary is aptly encouraging more appropriate use of Mother Nature’s resources.

China will be a key player in the world climate change agenda.  Although Mr. Locke’s speech was very complimentary of the partnership between China and the U.S., it is paramount to remember that actions speak louder than words.  Given that China is the manufacturing site of many products which are distributed across the globe, how will the world community react if new greenhouse gas emissions are not decreased?  How will increased costs associated with cleaner energy impact the world economic recovery?

Mr. Locke’s debut has been energetic but cautious.  The next six months on the job will be very indicative of the Secretary’s ability to influence big business and world politics to change the landscape of how people does business around the world.

The Secretary’s impact around the world trade is profound.  From a historical perspective, he now works in a role which could arguably have more impact over the economic recovery than any single person had during the Great Depression.


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