Published: Tue, May 23, 2017
Business | By Pat Ferguson

Iowa Governor Approved as US Ambassador to China

Iowa Governor Approved as US Ambassador to China

After announcing his choice in December, before he even took office, Trump said in a statement that Branstad's decades of experience in public service and long-standing relationship with Xi make him the ideal pick for China.

The two first met when Xi Jinping visited Muscatine, Iowa in 1985.

One of Branstad's first challenges will be pushing China to take a harder line against North Korea, which said Monday it successfully tested what it called an intermediate-range ballistic missile, although USA officials and experts questioned the extent of the country's progress. He is due to be replaced in Des Moines by Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, who would be the state's first female governor.

The 70-year-old Branstad is in his sixth nonconsecutive term as Iowa's governor. With more than 22 years at the helm of state government, he is the country's longest-serving governor, ever.

When Cohoon entered the Legislature in 1987, Democrats controlled the House of Representatives and Senate while Branstad was governor.

Since then, Branstad's nomination has moved forward on a bipartisan basis, with a popular showing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee April 25 and a unanimous confirmation May 9 in the committee. Branstad has also traveled to China several times on trade missions.

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As Branstad gets ready to leave Iowa, he's highlighted the state's low unemployment rate and renewable energy investments in wind farms and ethanol.

The Attorney General's formal opinion for what happens if Governor Terry Branstad becomes the ambassador to China may be controversial. In typical Branstad style, he did not limit his future endeavors - including another run for governor.

After the Senate vote, Branstad thanked Trump and Vice President Pence for the nomination and the Senate for the confidence they have placed in him.

"He will bring midwestern humility and level-headed leadership to the job", Grassley said to the Senate. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, who called him "the right person for the job" and by Sen.

Branstad said he was saddened to hear about Corning's death.

I'm pleased that he's now been called to serve as Ambassador to China.

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