Former Commerce Secretary Gary Locke was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to China on August 1st.

President Obama nominated former Edison International CEO John Bryson in May to be the new Secretary of Commerce. In July, Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma placed a hold on his nomination due, reportedly, to Mr. Bryson's environmental views.

The Senate Finance Committee has a hearing scheduled for September 7 for three other Administration trade nominees: Michael Punke for Deputy U.S. Trade Representative; Paul Piquado for Assistant Secretary of Commerce; and David S. Johanson for a Commissioner of the U.S. International Trade Commission.