Iowa Republican Governor Terry Branstad has accepted an offer by President-elect Donald Trump to serve as Trump’s ambassador to China. Branstad was chosen for his longstanding relationship with China that dates to 1985 when Branstad hosted a delegation from China visiting Iowa to learn about agricultural techniques. A Trump transition team spokesperson said Branstad brings a “great grasp” on trade and agricultural issues and has a “tremendous understanding” of China and its people, as reported by the Des Moines Register. A former aide to Branstad called the governor a “known commodity” in China. He is the longest-serving governor in American history, having served four terms in the office from 1983 to 1999 and another term and a half since 2011. He met with Trump earlier this week and must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the post after Trump is inaugurated next month.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.
Gov. Branstad issues statement on being nominated to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to China
I love Iowa and I love my country. For 22 years, I have been honored and privileged to serve the people of Iowa as their governor. My family and I will always be grateful to Iowans for trusting me to lead and putting their faith in me to serve.
America is at a crossroads, and the American people are looking for bold change to renew our position as the leader in the world. To once again hold America up as that ‘shining city upon a hill’ as President Reagan so proudly proclaimed. By electing President-elect Trump on November 8, this message was sent loud and clear by the voters.
During our 30-year friendship, President Xi Jinping and I have developed a respect and admiration for each other, our people and our cultures. The United States – Chinese bilateral relationship is at a critical point. Ensuring the countries with the two largest economies and two largest militaries in the world maintain a collaborative and cooperative relationship is needed more now than ever. The President-elect understands my unique relationship to China and has asked me to serve in a way I had not previously considered.
After long discussions with my family, I am honored and humbled to be nominated to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to China. I also accept President-elect Trump’s charge to prioritize collaborative policies that will Make America Great Again. This is an extraordinary opportunity. I believe that the respect and admiration built over a decades-old friendship between President Xi and I give me an opportunity to help the President-elect and serve Iowa, the United States and the world for the better.
This new mission to continue serving my state, and my country, in a new role is essential to building a bright future for our children and grandchildren. With my wife Chris by my side, I look forward to the work ahead but we will never have Iowa far from our hearts.
For more information on Gov. Branstad’s experience and relationship with China, please click here.