U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke opens a 10-day trip to China and Indonesia on Saturday to promote the sale of clean energy technologies. The mission will include representatives from large and small U.S. energy companies.
Secretary Locke outlined the purpose of his trip at the Foreign Press center in Washington Wednesday. "Energy is a $6 trillion market. And green energy is the fastest growing sector. The race to develop the new technologies the world will one day rely on is a race that this nation and all developed nations must engage in," he said.
The Commerce Secretary said his agency will be a conduit to create trade opportunities for U.S. companies. Joining him will be 46 business executives from 29 U.S. firms that have developed advanced technologies to burn coal in a cleaner and more efficient manner, generate power from the wind and convert sunlight into electricity.
Listen to Jim Stevenson's interview with Secretary Locke
for more information about the Asian trade mission:
Secretary Locke says increased trade in this area benefits everyone. "While the companies on this trade mission can help create economic opportunity and good jobs here in America, they can also help both China and Indonesia and countries all around the world grow their own economies and meet energy demand in a way that will not put our planet and our way of life at risk," he said.
As the United States continues to grapple with a huge Asian trade deficit, Locke says this mission is part of a national export initiative set by President Barack Obama, which calls for doubling overall U.S. exports in the next five years.
Secretary Locke says China's leaders are concerned about their rapid increase in the use of fossil fuels. "For the past six months, China had the largest increase in human generated greenhouse gasses of any country in history. And in the first quarter of this year alone, coal and oil sales in China jumped 24-percent. Which is twice as fast as their economy grew," he said.
Indonesia says it wants to increase its renewable energy production from seven percent of generating capacity to 25 percent in 15 years.
The Commerce Secretary will visit Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Jakarta during his trip.