Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

President-elect Donald Trump formally announced that he intended to appoint Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to be U.S. Ambassador to China.

Branstad made a statement in response to his appointment:

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.

Several Iowa Republicans offered their congratulations and praised Trump’s appointment of Branstad.

Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds:

President-elect Trump’s decision to nominate Gov. Branstad as Ambassador to China speaks volumes about the character, talent and experience of Gov. Terry Branstad.  As America’s longest-serving governor, I can think of no one more qualified and ready to represent Iowa and the United States of America on the world stage than Gov. Branstad.  His hands-on experience in advancing trade opportunities for Iowa farmers and Iowa companies coupled with his strong and lasting relationship with President Xi Jinping, as well as other leaders in China will serve him well in strengthening U.S.-China relations.

Gov. Branstad has been my mentor and friend, devoting his life to advocating for Iowa.  His record-setting public service as governor speaks for itself and has, without a doubt, made this state better.   Gov. Branstad has never backed down from a challenge.  I’m excited and proud to see him accept the responsibility as top envoy between the U.S. and China, and know that Iowans will be proud of his service on the world stage.  I have been honored to be a full partner with Gov. Branstad in this Administration and know that the experience I’ve gained over the last six years has prepared me well for this next chapter of service to all Iowans.

My family and I wish to extend Gov. Branstad, Chris and their family our most sincere congratulations as they accept this role together, knowing full well they will never be far from Iowa.

Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann:

I commend President-Elect Donald Trump for his decision to appoint Governor Terry Branstad as America’s ambassador to China. Over the decades as Governor, Terry Branstad has forged a unique and lasting relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He is immensely qualified to strengthen the United States’ relationship with China and to promote economic prosperity and cultural understanding between the two nations. On a personal note, it is an honor to call Governor Terry Branstad a dear friend, and I wish him the very best in this future endeavor.

Iowa GOP Co-Chair Cody Hoefert:

While Iowans will certainly miss Governor Branstad and his extraordinary service and leadership in this state, all Americans are incredibly fortunate to have the Governor serve in this critical leadership position.

Iowa House Speaker Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake):

Congratulations to Governor Branstad and best of luck in his new endeavor as Ambassador to China.  He is uniquely qualified to serve in this position based on his longtime relationship with President Xi Jinping as well as his record of results on trade while serving as Governor.  Gov. Branstad’s appointment is great for Iowa and America.

Bob Vander Plaats, CEO of The FAMiLY Leader:

We want to formally congratulate Gov. Terry Branstad for being selected by President-elect Trump to be the U.S. ambassador to China. Gov. Branstad is an excellent choice to advance our country’s relationship with China due to his long-standing friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Iowa has benefited greatly by Gov. Branstad’s friendship with leaders in the Chinese government, and it’s exciting to know that this relationship will now be used to exponentially benefit all the United States.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa):

Governor Branstad is a friend and colleague and someone I know very well.  As the long-time governor of Iowa, he understands the global nature of the state and national economies.  Governor Branstad understands China, having been there on numerous trade missions and having a friendship with President Xi Jinping.  He’s the longest-serving governor in our nation’s history.  Iowans have chosen him for his successful track record as the chief executive, his trustworthiness and his reputation as a straight shooter.  Those attributes would serve the United States very well if he’s confirmed for this position.  He ought to be confirmed very easily.

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa):

President-elect Trump has made an excellent choice in nominating Governor Terry Branstad as the United States Ambassador to China; his experience with China speaks for itself and he will excel in this new role. 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. I’d like to congratulate Terry, his wife Chris, and their children, and wish them the very best as they embark on this new adventure.

Congressman David Young (R-Iowa):

Governor Branstad, Iowa’s longest serving governor, has spent his career dedicated to the wellbeing of all Iowans and working to strengthen our great state. He has forged a strong relationship with China spanning decades, and has an understanding of the issues important to furthering a longstanding relationship between our two nations. He will bring a high level of commitment and service to this new role, and will also be in a very powerful position to promote and advance policies and relationships important to Iowa and our economy. As a friend and colleague, I wish him and his family all the best.

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