WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday nominated energy company executive John Bryson to be Secretary of Commerce.
Bryson will succeed Gary Locke, a former Washington state governor, who held the post for a little over two years and has been named ambassador to China.
Bryson, who must be confirmed by the Senate, is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison and Edison Mission Group, where he held the post from 1990 to 2008. He is also a director of The Boeing Co., The Walt Disney Co. and Coda Automotive Inc.
Bryson was a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a nonprofit environmental organization, which aims to mitigate the impact of textile production pollution on the environment in countries such as China and Bangladesh.
“John will be an important part of my economic team, working with the business community, fostering growth and helping open up new markets abroad to promote jobs and opportunities here at home,” Obama said.
One of Bryson’s top priorities will be continuing and promoting the implementation of Obama’s National Export Initiative that seeks to double U.S. exports in five years and create 2 million jobs.
The Commerce Department oversees activities ranging from the collection of economic data and the census to imports and exports. The department also chairs the interagency Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements that is responsible for factors impacting textile trade policy, such as short supply petitions that allow companies to use third-country fabric and yarns under certain trade agreements when the product is deemed to be not commercially produced in the U.S. The agency also shares oversight with the U.S. International Trade Commission over decisions on antidumping and countervailing duty cases.