Baucus to be China ambassador

Obama nominates Sen. Max Baucus of Montana to be next U.S. ambassador to China.

The White House nominated veteran Senator Max Baucus (D., Mont.) as the next U.S. Ambassador to China. Baucus, who has served in the U.S. Senate since 1978, had already announced that he would not be running for reelection in 2014.

Baucus said he was humbled by the nomination. "The U.S. – China relationship is one of the world’s most important bilateral relationships.  If confirmed, my goal will be to further strengthen diplomatic and economic ties between our two nations," he said.

The news takes on increasing importance as agricultural issues with China continue to surface. It also could have an impact on Congressional attempts to rewrite the tax code. As Senate Finance Committee chairman he had hoped to move legislation in 2014, but that likely would be left by the wayside.

Baucus added his career has been dedicated to public service. "It is something I care about deeply.  It's an honor to be presented with an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of my mentor, Mike Mansfield, who worked to strengthen and improve America’s important relationships throughout Asia.  I welcome this opportunity to continue to serve Montana and my country.”

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