From Feb. 6 to Feb. 11, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke led a high-technology trade mission in New Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai. His aim was to promote exports of U.S. technologies and services related to civil nuclear energy, civil aviation, defense and homeland security, and information and communications technology. This is the first Secretary-led business development mission since 1997.
This is also the first of several planned for 2011.
Locke had accompanied President Barack Obama to India in November. There is more than $10 billion in business deals between U.S. companies and Indian private sector and government entities, supporting about 50,000 American jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Between 2002 and 2009, U.S. exports to India quadrupled, growing from $4.1 billion to more than $16.4 billion.
Is this a sign that the former Washington state governor is about to become a more prominent member of Obama’s administration? Politico reports that CEOs sure think so.
A recent story by Ben White reports that Locke impressed 25 top technology executives during a meeting in Silicon Valley. From Locke, the CEOs were anticipating the same rhetoric that they had been getting from administration officials — generally positive talk without firm targets.
But Locke impressed them at the meeting, reported White, who wrote that the CEOs quickly realized that Locke truly understands business from the way he spoke about it.
Politico characterized Locke as a “secret weapon” in the Obama administration, one that has been flying under the radar for the first two years of the administration, as Obama focused on health care and financial reform.
We hope that Locke’s voice will continue to grow within the administration. We think he can be a key figure in building businesses back up in the United States, especially since the administration has a reputation of not being an ally to big businesses.
Locke has the right background to be a liaison. He was a trade lawyer at Davis Wright Tremaine. He was the state governor, and this state is heavily trade-dependent. Being Chinese American, he also has a great reputation in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Locke can serve as an inspiration to all of us. He is a person who came from humble beginnings and achieved so much due to his determination and intelligence. He doesn’t chase glory or the limelight, but instead focuses on what needs to be done. He shows us that hard work can carry a person far. ♦