Rick Larsen

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Rick Larsen

Rick Larsen (born June 15, 1965) is the United States Representative for Washington's 2nd congressional district and a member of the Democratic Party. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2000 and was re-elected in each of the ten subsequent elections, most recently in 2020.

Larsen is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.


Born in Arlington, Washington, he attended Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Minnesota, earning a master's degree in public affairs. He formerly worked as director of public affairs for the Washington State Dental Association and as a lobbyist for the dental profession.

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Rick Larsen in his successful House of Representatives run as candidate for Washington.[1]

New Democrat Coalition

The New Democrat Coalition was founded in 1997 by Representatives Cal Dooley (California), James P. Moran (Virginia) and Timothy Roemer (Indiana) as a congressional affiliate of the avowedly centrist Democratic Leadership Council, whose members, including former President Bill Clinton, call themselves "New Democrats." In November 2012, the New Democrat Coalition announced the election of its new leadership team. New Dems elected Rep. Ron Kind (WI-03) as the Chair and re-elected Reps. Jim Himes (CT-04), Rick Larsen (WA-02), and Allyson Schwartz (PA-13) as Vice Chairs and added Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11) as a Vice Chair.[2]

2006 letter to Condoleezza Rice on Colombia

Alleged Colombian Army killings prompted Fellowship of Reconciliation to work with Representative Sam Farr to forge a response that would impact the 17th Brigade, the unit allegedly responsible for the violence against San José de Apartadó and communities throughout northwestern Colombia.

As a result, Reps. Sam Farr and Jim McGovern, wrote a letter to their colleagues in Congress urging them to join in calling on Secretary Condoleezza Rice to cut funding for the Colombian military.

Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
(Deadline for Congressional representatives to sign: February 22)
We applaud the decision, noted in your certification letter of August 2005, that the US "will not consider providing assistance to the 17th Brigade until all significant human rights allegations involving the unit have been credibly addressed." Because the Brigade is a component of the Colombian Armed Forces' command structure and has been implicated in the above referenced human rights violations, we implore you to abide by both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law by withholding human rights certification for Colombia until the following conditions are met:

Signatories included Rick Larsen.[3]

Voted against cutting funding for ACORN

In September 2009, following the lead of their Senate colleagues, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to cut off funds to ACORN. the vote was 345-75. All of the 75 were Democrats, and included Rick Larsen. [4]

China connections

U.S.-China Working Group

Rick Larsen is the co-chair of the bipartisan U.S.-China Working Group, which educates Members of Congress about U.S.-China issues through meetings and briefings with academic, business and political leaders from the U.S. and China. China is the largest and most rapidly growing export market for Washington state. Forty percent of all jobs in Washington state are tied to trade, and from 2000 to 2009, Washington state exports to China grew by 379 percent. Rick has visited China nine times.[5]


The U.S.-China Working Group seeks to build diplomatic relations with China and educate Members of Congress through meetings and briefings with business, academic and political leaders from the U.S. and China.

“I created the U.S.-China Working Group to provide Members an opportunity to learn more about and discuss issues regarding China and the US-China relationship,” said Rep. Larsen. “As a representative from Washington state, I am particularly concerned with the current trade discussions because the largest number of exports from the state go to China. Forty percent of jobs in the state depend on trade. In Snohomish County, where I was born and raised, 60 percent of all jobs are tied to trade.”

“It’s essential we continue to engage with the Chinese on important trade issues and the U.S.-China Working Group trip allowed our delegation to enhance areas of cooperation between our two countries,” stated Rep. LaHood. “The trip presented us with the opportunity to emphasize continued communication between our two countries as ongoing trade talks resume this week and we stressed the need for the Chinese to abide by international norms, particularly when it comes to trade practices and the flow of fentanyl. As China continues to expand their influence around the globe, our two countries must continue dialogue and this trip took important steps towards strengthening that relationship.”[6]


In 2000, U.S. lawmakers publicly accused the China Ocean Shipping Co. of being a front for espionage and blocked plans to expand its Long Beach, Calif., port terminal over fears that Chinese spies would use it to snoop on the United States.

By 2009, Congress was seeing the state-owned Chinese behemoth in a far kinder light. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) authored a resolution applauding the company for employing thousands of Americans and helping keep the waters of Alaska clean. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) hailed the firm on the House floor, calling its chief executive "a people's ambassador" to the United States after it rescued Boston's port -- and thousands of jobs -- when a European shipping line moved out.

The congressional about-face illustrates a dramatic increase in China's influence on Capitol Hill, where for years its lobbying muscle never matched its ballooning importance in world affairs. Members of Congress, lobbyists and other observers said

China's strongest backers in Congress are also becoming more vocal, especially the 60-member U.S.-China Working Group, led by Reps. Rick Larsen (D-Wa.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who represent districts that do considerable trade with China.

"We bought China when it was low," Larsen quipped. "There was nowhere for it to go but up."[7]

C-100 forum


Committee of 100 forum with Darin LaHood. Moderated by Bob Gee.

Committee of 100 Celebrates Lunar New Year on Capitol Hill

On February 14, 2012 Committee of 100 hosted a “Year of the Dragon” Lunar New Year Reception in Washington D.C. in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building. The guests were Asian Pacific American leaders, Members of Congress and Congressional staffers, media representatives, and other honored guests.


Committee of 100 Chairman Dominic Ng, Representative Judy Chu (CA-32), Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Senator Daniel Inouye (HI) each addressed the approximately 120 guests. The Committee paid tribute to two members of the Committee’s Advisory Council, Irene Hirano and the Honorable J. Stapleton Roy, who were thankedd for their exemplary service and long-time support.

Other distinguished guests included: Representative Mike Honda (CA-15); Kenneth G. Lieberthal, Director of the John L. Thornton China Center of the Brookings Institution; Konrad Ng, Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program; Kin Moy, Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs; C.H. Tung, founding Chairman of the China-United States Exchange Foundation; Steve Orlins, President of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations; and Eugene Robinson, Columnist and Associate Editor of The Washington Post and 2011 alumnus of the C-100 Journalist Delegation Program.[8]

Washington Leadership Dialogue

July 2010 By Jane Leung Larson, a delegation of 16 Committee of 100 members led by C-100 Chairman John Chen spent two intense days exchanging views with a number of government officials on U.S.-China relations, Chinese language teaching in the schools, and the unique resources and connections that the Committee brings to the table.

The June 23-24 Washington Leadership Dialogue was organized to give the Committee of 100 an opportunity to hear the concerns of members of Congress and the Administration as well as share observations and recommendations with Washington policy-makers on a variety of issues.

Of special interest was the Committee’s work in the past year with the U.S. State Department at the highest levels (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) to support and promote the USA Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai and build the Pavilion’s most popular exhibit, “The Chinese in America.” Also emphasized was the Committee’s long-time commitment to education, particularly C-100 activities in both northern and southern California to support the teaching of Chinese language and culture in public schools.

Private meetings were held with Jeff Bader (Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council), Chris Lu (Assistant to the President and White House Cabinet Secretary), Kurt Campbell (Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs), Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA), and Senator Daniel Inouye (HI), all of whom have participated in Committee of 100 annual conferences. The Administration’s goal of sending 100,000 American students to China in the next four years was the topic of discussion with a group of top officials from the Departments of Education and State.

The Committee also met with Co-chairs of the House U.S.-China Working Group (Reps. Rick Larsen and Charles Boustany) and members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (Reps. Judy Chu, Mike Honda, and David Wu). One of the topics discussed with the Caucus was a possible Congressional resolution of apology for the Chinese Exclusion Act. A briefing was held with Christina Lagdameo, Deputy Director of the White House Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative co-chaired by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

In addition to Chairman Chen, C-100 members participating in the Dialogue were: C-100 Vice Chairs David Chang, Daniel Chao, Doreen Woo Ho, Ming Chen Hsu, Clarence T. Kwan, Stewart Kwoh, and Cheng Li and members Richard Cheng, Michael Fung, Harry Gee, Jr., Charlie Sie, Benjamin Wu, Debra Wong Yang, Alice Young, and Nancy Yuan. Members came from across the U.S. to join the delegation. Coordinating Dialogue logistics and attending the meetings were C-100 staff members Executive Director Angie Tang, Public Relations Director An Ping, and Program Associate Alice Lin.

On June 23, the Committee also held a dinner to welcome the new Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. (and an old friend of the Committee), Zhang Yesui. Committee of 100 Advisory Council members David M. Lampton and Stapleton Roy also met with the delegation to discuss how the organization can enhance its presence in Washington.[9]

AmCham delegation

With the 2016 presidential and congressional elections looming on the horizon, AmCham Shanghai traveled to Washington, D.C. for its annual DC Doorknock from September 19-22. The annual AmCham Shanghai DC Doorknock, led by AmCham Shanghai Chairman Ker Gibbs and President Kenneth Jarrett, gives AmCham Shanghai an opportunity to engage with key Washington stakeholders on important issues affecting American businesses in China. In addition to providing an “on the ground” perspective on China, the delegation this year stressed the importance of passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a U.S.-China Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to American companies and the need for the U.S. government to maintain pressure on China regarding cybersecurity concerns, internet controls and limitations, and the slow progress in financial services reform. The delegation also highlighted the positive impact of Chinese direct investment on the U.S. economy.

The first day of the Doorknock saw the AmCham Shanghai delegation calling on the Obama Administration with meetings at the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The administration officials assured the delegation that the Obama Administration was committed to getting TPP passed and urged the business community, when engaged in TPP advocacy, to underline the important impact that TPP has on businesses in China. The delegation also met with the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) China Mission Chief, James Daniel, to discuss the IMF’s view of China’s evolving economy.

The following day and a half of the Doorknock was spent on Capitol Hill meeting with more than 40 members of Congress and their staff, including visits to Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colorado) and Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) and Congressmen Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), Mike Kelly (R-Pennsylvania), Ami Bera (D-California), Darin LaHood (R-Illinois) and Rick Larsen (D-Washington), among others. During these meetings the AmCham Shanghai delegation continued to press for the passage of TPP and noted its importance for American businesses in China and the region more broadly. While some members of Congress remained hopeful that a vote would come up, most of the members and staff felt that it was unlikely to pass, even after the presidential election in November.[10]

Delegations to China

2019 Congressional Members Delegation March 16, 2019 to March 24, 2019 Hong Kong, Hangzhou, and Beijing, China.

In March 2019, the National Committee on U.S. China Relations escorted its eighth congressional delegation to China, traveling to Hong Kong, Hangzhou, and Beijing. The group was led by the two current co-chairs of the USCWG, Congressmen Rick Larsen (D-WA-2) and Darin LaHood (R-IL-18), joined by Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA-26) and Congressmen Bill Flores (R-TX-17), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA-14). National Committee on U.S. China Relations President Stephen Orlins and Matt Ferchen (a fellow in NCUSCR's Public Intellectuals Program) escorted the delegation.

Meetings focused on issues of trade, agriculture, tech and intellectual property, healthcare (including fentanyl and the opioid crisis), and the denuclearization of North Korea. The meetings in Hong Kong included many political and judicial leaders, such as Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Secretary of Justice Teresa Cheng. In Hangzhou, the delegation met with Municipal Party Secretary Zhou Jiangyong and Provincial Party Secretary Che Jun. The group met with Vice President Wang Qishan in Beijing, along with U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, the National People's Congress Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as Standing Committee Chairman Li Zhanshu and Vice Chairman Wang Chen. The delegation also met with American and Chinese corporations, including Ford Motor Company and Alibaba, as well as local NGOs such as the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs.[11]

2017 Congressional Members Delegation September 15, 2017 to September 24, 2017 .Beijing, Tianjin, Jinan, and Qufu, China.

In September 2017, the National Committee on U.S. China Relations escorted a seventh group to Beijing, Tianjin, Jinan, and Qufu. The delegation was led by the two current co-chairs of the U.S.-China Working Group, Congressmen Rick Larsen (D-WA-2) and Darin LaHood (R-IL-18), joined by Congressmen Gregorio Sablan (D-NMI), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY-18), David Young (R-IA-3), and Roger Marshall (R-KS-1).

Meetings focused on issues of agriculture, aviation, and environmental protection; the situation surrounding North Korea was also a frequent topic of discussion. The delegation met with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang in Zhongnanhai, Chair Madame Fu Ying of the National People’s Congress, vice ministers of various ministries including Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Environmental Protection, the Central Military Commission, foreign and local NGOs, American and Chinese businessmen, provincial and municipals officials from Shandong, among others.[12]

2014 Congressional Members Delegation March 15, 2014 to March 23, 2014. In March 2014, we sent four members of Congress — the two co-chairs of the U.S.-China Working Group (USCWG), Congressmen Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Charles Boustany (R-LA), along with Congressmen Kenny Marchant (R-TX) and Michael Quigley (D-IL) — on a weeklong trip to Beijing, Xi'an, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong.

The delegation was escorted by NCUSCR President Stephen Orlins, Fordham Law Professor Carl Minzner (a fellow in NCUSCR's Public Intellectuals Program), and Terra Sabag and Florie Knauf, senior Hill staffers working in the offices of the USCWG co-chairs. The delegation focused its attention on the economic reforms outlined in the Third Plenum, the U.S.-China military/security relationship, and the current environment for U.S. businesses operating in China.[13]

2013 Congressional Members Delegation January 24, 2013 to January 31, 2013 Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong, China.

In January 2013, the National Committee on U.S. China Relations took a bipartisan delegation of five Members of Congress to Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong for meetings with senior Chinese policy makers and American diplomats, journalists, and business leaders to better understand China’s leadership, economic reforms, regional security issues, and domestic challenges, and to learn more about trade, U.S. businesses in China, and Hong Kong’s relations with the United States and with China.

The delegation had discussions with a range of senior officials including Vice Premier Wang Qishan, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Hong Kong Chief Executive C.Y. Leung, and a senior People’s Liberation Army official; were briefed by U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke; visited with American Chamber of Commerce and US-China Business Council corporate members; met several Beijing-based journalists from major U.S. news outlets; and met with a range of interlocutors from the business, academic, NGO, and policy sectors.

The delegation, led by Congressman Rick Larsen (D-WA), co-founder and co-chair of the U.S.-China Working Group, included Congressmen Jim Costa (D-CA), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Billy Long (R-MO), and Mike Turner (R-OH). National Committee on U.S. China Relations President Stephen Orlins accompanied the group with Mary Gallagher, University of Michigan professor of political science and a fellow in NCUSCR's Public Intellectuals Program, who served as scholar-escort.[14]

2011 Congressional Members Delegation April 23, 2011 to May 1, 2011. Beijing, Qingdao, Chengdu, and Shanghai, China.

Five members of the bipartisan congressional U.S.-China Working Group (USCWG) traveled to China in April 2011 for the fourth such trip under National Committee on U.S. China Relations auspices. The delegation, led by USCWG Co-chairmen Charles Boustany (R-LA) and Rick Larsen (D-WA), visited Beijing, Qingdao, Chengdu, and Shanghai, with a focus on assessing and advancing the U.S.-China military-to-military relationship. Accompanied by National Committee President Stephen Orlins, the group also included Congressmen Mike Coffman (R-CO), Hank Johnson (D-GA), and Erik Paulsen (R-MN). The congressmen met with several senior leaders, including Minister Li Yuanchao of the CPC Organization Department, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, State Councilor Dai Bingguo, and PLA General Chen Bingde, and toured a Song-class submarine in Qingdao – the first group of civilians authorized to do so. In Chengdu, the congressmen engaged with graduate students from Sichuan University at a roundtable discussion on topics ranging from education to the rule of law.[15]

2009 Congressional Members Delegation May 23, 2009 to May 31, 2009. Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Beijing, China.

The third trip to China that the National Committee on U.S. China Relations has conducted for the bipartisan congressional U.S.-China Working Group (USCWG) focused on the effects of the financial and economic crisis on China’s economy, issues of concern to American companies in China, and Sino-American relations. As the mission of the USCWG is to educate members of Congress about the U.S.-China relationship, these member’s trips play an important part in encouraging American policies that are based on informed knowledge of China.

The delegation included USCWG Co-chairs Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Rick Larsen (D-WA) and their staff directors; National Committee President Stephen Orlins; and Public Intellectuals Program Fellow Scott Kennedy, an associate professor of political science at Indiana University and director of the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business. The eight-day itinerary included Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Beijing.

In Beijing, the delegation met with several senior officials, including Vice Premier Wang Qishan, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming; Gao Xiqing, president of the China Investment Corporation; the head of the People’s Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan (a participant on a National Committee exchange in the early 1980s); and chairman of the Banking Regularory Commission Lu Mingkang.

Insightful discussions with local officials provided valuable perspectives on the local impacts of the global financial crisis, particularly Guangdong Provincial Party Secretary (and Politburo member) Wang Yang and Guangzhou Mayor Zhang Guangning; Minhang District Party Secretary Sun Chao; the director general of Shanghai’s office for financial services Fang Xinghai; Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang; the head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Joseph Yam; and the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury in the Hong Kong Government KC Chan. Former Chief Executive of Hong Kong C.H. Tung hosted a dinner for the group.

In each city, the group met with CEOs and representatives of major American companies in China as well as U.S. Embassy and Consulate officials to gain a clear picture of on-the-ground realities. These meetings included discussions at the American Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing. Supplementing these meetings were visits to industrial sites including a Motorola plant and John Deere factory in Tianjin, and the Mattel and Baxter operations in Guangdong.

The schedule was rounded out by more informal occasions such as a gathering with journalists from leading American publications, lunch with Chinese vice presidents of the National Basketball Association and an informal match that pitted Congressman Larsen against Chinese national basketball star Ma Jian.[16]

2007 Congressional Members Delegation August 24, 2007 to September 1, 2007 In 2007, the National Committee on U.S. China Relations cooperated with the bipartisan congressional U.S.-China Working Group (USCWG), the National People’s Congress, and the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., on visits to China for USCWG congressional representatives and their staff. USCWG is a bipartisan initiative at the forefront of congressional dealings with issues of Sino-American relations, and focuses on educating Congress about China.

The most recent visits focused on meetings with senior officials to discuss issues of importance to the representatives, their constituents and Congress, and have helped bring firsthand experience to policy debates at the national and local levels.

U.S.-China Working Group Co-chairs Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Rick Larsen (D-WA) traveled to China in August 2007, meeting with Wu Bangguo, chairman of the National People’s Congress, and Jiang Enzhu, chairman of the National People’s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee, among other senior officials. Talks covered issues of Sino-American trade, banking and financial reform, counter-terrorism measures, the environment, and food and product safety. Two highlights of the trip were the overview of China’s space program at the China Astronaut Research and Training Center with Yang Liwei, China’s renowned first man in space, and several days in Xinjiang, including a visit to China’s western border with Kyrgyzstan, to learn firsthand about counter-terror, border security, and narcotics control initiatives.[17]

2006 Congressional Members Delegation January 8, 2006 to January 17, 2006. In January 2006, for first time in many years, the National Committee on U.S. China Relations escorted the two co-chairs of the newly formed bipartisan congressional U.S.-China Working Group (USCWG), Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), and one of its members, Tom Feeney (R-FL) to China. National Committee President Stephen Orlins accompanied the delegation, which also included the two co-staff directors of the USCWG.

With a focus on border and security issues, the congressmen discussed Sino-American cooperation in the Six-Party Talks, non-proliferation, trade frictions, protection of intellectual property rights, and cross-Strait relations, in meetings with senior representatives of the National People’s Congress (the host organization), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Defense, and other government agencies. They also traveled to Gansu Province for a rare tour of China’s space launch facility: the delegation was the first foreign group since 1989 to visit the manned-space launch center in Jiuquan, where the vice space administrator agreed to work with NASA in developing a joint space rescue capability. The group also traveled to Shanghai for meetings with municipal leaders and with several Chinese fellows in the National Committee’s Young Leaders Forum, and to Hong Kong for briefings with legislators, justices, and other officials.[18]

ARA endorsement, 2012

The Alliance for Retired Americans endorsed Rick Larsen in 2012.[19]

External links


  1. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  2. New Democrat Coalition: More than One Fourth of the Democratic Caucus
  3. FOR February 2006 Peace Presence Update
  4. American Thinker, September 18, 2009 The 75 Democrats who are pro-sex slave ACORN defenders By Ethel C. Fenig
  5. [1]
  6. [2]
  7. The Washington Post January 9, 2010 Saturday Suburban Edition, As China rises, so does its influence on the Hill; Increased lobbying, growing role in U.S. economy yield new warmth from Congress BYLINE: John Pomfret SECTION: A-SECTION; Pg. A01]
  8. C-100Committee Celebrates Lunar New Year on Capitol Hill
  9. [3]
  10. [https://www.amcham-shanghai.org/en/article/amcham-shanghai-goes-washington ECONOMY14 - OCT - 2016 AmCham Shanghai Goes to Washington Recap of AmCham Shanghai’s four-day DC Doorknock By AMCHAM Shanghai]
  11. [4]
  12. [5]
  13. [6]
  14. [7]
  15. [8]
  16. [9]
  17. [10]
  18. [11]
  19. PAF