John Bryson, the retired CEO of Edison International, was nominated Tuesday by President Obama to be the next secretary of commerce, replacing Gary Locke, the former Washington governor who is leaving the federal Cabinet post. A former chief regulator in California and a founding attorney of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Bryson will continue the U.S. Commerce Department‘s efforts to increase the nation’s competitiveness in the global marketplace, according to the White House. Obama said Bryson “understands what it takes to succeed in the 21st century economy.”

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