Branstad Confirmed as U.S. Ambassador to China
WASHINGTON D.C. — Governor Branstad has now been confirmed as the next U.S. Ambassador to China.
On Monday, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Branstad to the new position. He will resign from the position of governor on Wednesday, at which time Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will take over his responsibilities and become Iowa’s first female governor.
Branstad is the longest-serving governor in the United States’ history, with a current total of 8,167 days of service.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey released a statement regarding Branstad’s confirmation on Monday:
“It is great news for Iowa and for the nation that Governor Branstad is now confirmed and will soon be in place as Ambassador to China. Governor Branstad is uniquely qualified to serve in this critically important position and will vigorously support our nation’s interests. Through his hard work promoting Iowa products around the world, the Governor has built strong relationships with Chinese President Xi and numerous leaders and officials across the country that will serve our nation well. I want to thank Gov. Branstad for his service to our great state as Governor and I wish him all the best and look forward to continuing to work with him in this new and important role.”
Senator Joni Ernst spoke at the confirmation hearing in Washington D.C., saying the following:
“I rise today to encourage my colleagues to support Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s nomination to be U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.
“The position of U.S. Ambassador to China is one of the most important ambassadorial positions in the world, and I am confident that my friend and Governor – Terry Branstad – is the right person for the job.
“Having worked alongside the Governor for many years, I know he will exemplify the same leadership, thoughtfulness, and dedication in his role as Ambassador to China on behalf of the United States as he did for the people of Iowa.
“Importantly, Governor Branstad also knows China and its leaders well. He first met President Xi Jinping while he was visiting Iowa on an agricultural research trip in 1985. They have kept in touch over the years, and Governor Branstad has since visited China a number of times on behalf of the State of Iowa.
“Iowa’s extensive trade relationship with China has given Governor Branstad a front-seat view of the complexities of our country’s broader trade and economic relationship with China and will provide him with the foundation to effectively advocate for U.S. interests.
“As evidenced by his successful confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – which approved his nomination by voice vote – Governor Branstad will not only work tirelessly to foster our trade and economic interests with China, but he is also prepared to tackle the many other complex bilateral issues we have with China – from North Korea to the South China Sea to human rights.
“It has been an honor to serve the people of Iowa alongside Governor Branstad – the longest serving governor in United States history – and I am thrilled to continue to work with him in his new role serving the American people.
“I thank Governor Branstad for his service to Iowa, and I wish him and his family the best as they prepare to depart for Beijing.
“Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.”