Press Advisory

ADVISORY: Congress and U.S. Policy Toward China

A Discussion with Representatives Mark Kirk and Rick Larsen

9:00am – 10:00am

A light breakfast will be served.

Featured Speakers: Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Co-chair of the U.S.-China Working Group Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), Co-chair of the U.S.-China Working Group

Moderated by: Carol Browner, Principal, The Albright Group LLC; Former Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

RSVP for this Event

*This event was re-scheduled from July 18*

China’s rapid economic growth and increasingly important role in world affairs poses many difficult questions for U.S. policymakers. How does Chinese economic growth affect U.S. competitiveness in the world? What kinds of policies should Congress sponsor to ensure a fair and productive trade relationship with China? How can the United States best encourage a beneficial and secure relationship with China economically, politically, and militarily? The Center for American Progress will host a conversation with U.S. Reps. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Rick Larsen (D-WA), co-chairs of the U.S.-China Working Group, to examine these issues and discuss congressional opinions and attitudes toward China. The discussion will be moderated by Carol Browner, Principal of The Albright Group LLC and former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The bipartisan U.S.-China Working Group educates members of Congress on U.S.-China issues through meetings and briefings with academic, business, and political leaders from the United States.


Center for American Progress 1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor Washington, DC 20005 Map & Directions

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center


Rep. Mark Kirk represents the 10th Congressional District of Illinois located in the suburbs north of Chicago.

Now in his fourth term, Kirk is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and serves on two of its subcommittees: State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, and Financial Services.

Kirk is co-chairman of the Tuesday Group, the caucus of mainstream Republican members of Congress. In that capacity, Kirk works to advance a suburban agenda that is pro-defense, pro-personal responsibility, pro-environment, and pro-science.

Kirk wrote a number of provisions that became law, including funding for commuter rail, improving veteran’s health care, ensuring military voting, and boosting aviation security. Congressional Quarterly named Kirk one of the “28 Emerging Leaders in Congress.”

Kirk began his career on the staff of his predecessor, Rep. John Porter. He later served in the World Bank, the State Department, the law firm of Baker & McKenzie, and the U.S. House International Relations Committee.

Kirk is a Naval Reserve intelligence officer who served during conflicts with Iraq, Haiti, and Bosnia. He served four tours at sea and three in Panama. The U.S. Navy named Kirk “Intelligence Officer of the Year” in 1999 for his combat service in Kosovo. Kirk flew on missions over Iraq and continues to serve one weekend a month in the Pentagon. Kirk is the only member of Congress to serve stateside during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was an air crewman over Iraq during Operation Northern Watch.

Kirk graduated from New Trier High School and attended the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico before earning a B.A. from Cornell. He holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from Georgetown.

Kirk and his wife, Kimberly, live in Highland Park, Illinois.

Rep. Rick Larsen was sworn in for his fourth term as a member of the House of Representatives on Jan. 13, 2007. Larsen represents the second congressional district of Washington state, which stretches from northern Snohomish County clear to the Canadian border, encompassing all of Skagit, Island, San Juan, and Whatcom counties.

Since coming to Congress, Larsen has worked hard to bring veterans’ health care closer to veterans, securing a community-based outpatient clinic for the second congressional district. Larsen has also served as an advocate for the district’s homeless and hungry populations–raising awareness about hunger and supporting federal legislation to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry at night.

Larsen currently serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the House Small Business Committee.

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Larsen fought hard to keep Naval Station Everett and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island off the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure list and has worked to position the bases for future expansion.

Serving on the House Transportation Committee, Larsen worked with his colleagues to pass the Federal Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill, also known as SAFETEA-LU, in July of 2005. This legislation alone brought over $52 million worth of transportation projects to the second congressional district.

As a new member on the House Small Business Committee, Larsen will continue his work to support local communities’ economic development activities, creating family wage jobs in the second district. He has worked hard to preserve federal funding for programs that support small businesses, such as the Small Business Development Center program.

Larsen also serves as co-chair of the Congressional Methamphetamine Caucus, which is working to fight the growing meth epidemic that is ravaging our local communities. As a result of his efforts, Larsen has fostered a number of legislative provisions into law, including a bill that protects mail-order brides by safeguarding the International Marriage Broker industry.

Larsen graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Washington state. He holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota.

The Larsen family has been building a legacy in the second congressional district for more than a century. Larsen and his wife, Tiia, are the proud parents of two sons, Robert and Per, who represent the fifth generation of Larsens in the district.

Carol Browner is a Principal at the Albright Group, LLC. She served as head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a $7 billion, 18,000-employee agency responsible for protecting the public’s air, water, and the health of their communities. She was a member of President Clinton’s cabinet for eight years. Browner, an attorney, is widely recognized for her innovative partnerships with the business community and non-governmental organizations, forging common sense, cost-effective solutions to public health and environmental challenges. Accomplishments during her tenure included enacting the strongest-ever national air pollution standards, creating innovative and flexible alternatives to traditional regulatory programs, and leveraging more than $1 billion in public and private funds to clean up brownfields.