The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s nomination as U.S. Ambassador to China setting up a vote by the full Senate as early as next week.

The committee approved his nomination by voice vote a week after Branstad’s confirmation hearing before the committee.

Below is an excerpt of Branstad’s hearing:

U.S. Senator Ernst (R-Iowa) who introduced Branstad to the committee along with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley praised the news.

As we saw evidenced in his confirmation hearing last week, Governor Branstad will exemplify the same leadership, thoughtfulness, and dedication in his role as Ambassador to China on behalf of the United States as he has for the people of Iowa. I congratulate Governor Branstad on his approval by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, and I hope that the full Senate will move quickly to confirm Governor Branstad for this important role,” Ernst said in a released statement.

Grassley tweeted about the committee vote this morning:

When President Donald Trump announced Branstad’s nomination, I gave seven reasons why I believe he was a good choice for that post.

  1. Branstad has been a long-time friend of the current Chinese President, Xi Jinping, having first met in 1985. He is considered an “old friend” by Jinping. That phrase is a culturally significant title.
  2. Branstad has experience working out trade deals with the Chinese which have been beneficial to Iowa’s farmers.
  3. He has a long-standing relationship with the Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai.
  4. Branstad has collaborated with the Ministry of Agriculture for China which included meetings with Minister Han Changfu.
  5. He has worked closely with Madam Li Xiaolin of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries to further relationships between states in America and Chinese provinces.
  6. He understands the need for free and fair trade.
  7. He is respected by the Chinese and has the competence and temperament to represent American interests promoting regional stability in light of North Korea, the South China Sea, and Taiwan.

I thought then and still believe now that this nomination is a no-brainer. I expect Branstad to be easily confirmed by the full Senate.

Branstad has indicated that he will resign as Governor shortly after his confirmation.

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