President Barack Obama will name U.S. Senator Max Baucus as his next ambassador to China.
Senator Baucus's history working on Chinese trade and economic issues is seen as reflecting the importance the administration attaches to Sino-U.S. commercial ties.
The White House said Friday the economic agreements he helped forge have "created millions of American jobs and added billions of dollars" to the U.S. economy.
The senator has been an outspoken critic of some of China's trade practices while working to deepen U.S.-China relations.
Senator Baucus has served in the Senate for more than 30 years. He is chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation.
The nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.