Max Baucus. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Obama has officially declared his intent to nominate Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) as the next ambassador to China.

His choice of Baucus was widely reported earlier this week.

“For more than two decades Max Baucus has worked to deepen the relationship between the United States and China," Obama said in a statement. "The economic agreements he helped forge have created millions of American jobs and added billions of dollars to our economy, and he’s perfectly suited to build on that progress in his new role.”

Baucus was already set to retire after the 2014 election, but his nomination means there could soon be a vacancy in his seat. That vacancy would be filled by Gov. Steve Bullock (D).