WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will nominate Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as next U.S. ambassador to China, two administration officials said on Monday.
Locke would replace the current ambassador, Jon Huntsman, who is stepping down on April 30 and is considering a run for president in which he'd join a field of Republicans vying to challenge Obama in the 2012 election.
An official announcement on Locke is expected on Tuesday.
Locke, whose appointment would need confirmation by the Senate, became the first Chinese-American Commerce Secretary when he joined the Obama administration in 2009.
He is a former governor of Washington state.
(Writing by Caren Bohan; Editing by Eric Walsh)