SEATTLE, WA (September 18, 2015) – Davis Wright Tremaine (DWT) today announced that former U.S. Ambassador to China, U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Washington State Governor Gary Locke has rejoined the firm as Senior Advisor and Consultant.
In his new role, Locke will consult with DWT’s domestic and international clients in several key areas, including:
“It is an honor to have Gov. Locke return to DWT,” said Bob Blackstone, partner-in-charge at DWT’s Seattle office. “Our clients and partners will benefit tremendously from his experience, wisdom and relationships, developed over decades of public service.”
Locke’s new role will help further strengthen ties between the Pacific Northwest and China. In 1994, DWT was the first U.S. law firm authorized to open an office in Shanghai; today, it has the largest presence in Mainland China of any Pacific Northwest firm. China is Washington State’s largest export market, receiving over $15 billion of Washington-produced goods in 2014 alone. Washington state exports to China supported approximately 90,000 jobs, according to the International Trade Association.
“With $29 billion in two-way trade between Washington State and China last year, companies on both sides of the Pacific need trusted advisors to help navigate complex legal and regulatory systems in both countries,” said Norm Page, chair of the DWT China Practice. “Gov. Locke has a truly distinctive perspective from his leadership roles in Washington State, Washington, DC and China.”
This will be Locke’s second position with DWT, having previously served as co-chair of the firm’s China Practice from 2004-2009. Locke was appointed Secretary of Commerce by President Obama in 2009.
“DWT is the perfect place for me to contribute on things I care deeply about,” said Locke. “I am excited to be back with my colleagues at DWT – it’s a great firm with top-notch lawyers and staff. The firm works at the highest level on cutting-edge legal and business issues involving trade, technology and regulatory policy. I am passionate about solving complex policy issues and facilitating constructive relationships between the U.S. and China."
Locke served as U.S. Ambassador to China from 2011-2014, where he worked to open markets for U.S.-made goods and services, reduced wait times for visa interviews of Chinese applicants from 100 days to 3 days, and expanded the dissemination of accurate air quality information to people living in China.
Locke previously served as the 36th U.S. Commerce Secretary from 2009-2011. As Commerce Secretary, he aggressively led the effort to implement President Obama's National Export Initiative to double American exports in five years; he oversaw the execution of the 2010 Census, which was delivered on time and substantially under budget, saving taxpayers $2 billion; and he streamlined the patent application process, reducing wait time from 40 months to one year.
During his tenure as U.S. Commerce Secretary, Locke initiated the SelectUSA program, a concentrated effort to encourage foreign direct investment in the United States and he made the program a priority as Ambassador. During his tenure in China, the value of Chinese investments in the United States exceeded the value of the previous 11 years combined.
Locke also served two terms as Washington’s 21st governor, the first Chinese-American to be elected governor in United States history and the first Asian-American governor on the mainland. During Locke’s tenure he achieved bipartisan welfare reform and oversaw the gain of 280,000 private sector jobs, during two national recessions.
Gov. Locke will be providing his services through Locke Global Strategies, his wholly owned consulting company.