KIMT News 3 – President-elect Donald Trump has selected Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as U.S. ambassador to China.
“Nobody has a longer relationship to the president of China probably than Gov. Branstad,” said Iowa State Rep. Josh Byrnes.
Burns said the opportunity to become the U.S. ambassador to China is one you don’t turn down.
“I think it speaks volumes of how he (Branstad) is perceived on a national level,” said Byrnes. “I think as a state, we are fortunate to have that connection.”
Byrnes said because Branstad already has a pre-existing relationship with China’s president, that will be valuable.
“That’s why he’s a good pick, because he does have that relationship,” he said.
American Soybean Association Director Wayne Fredericks said Branstad will hopefully help create more opportunities with China when it comes to trade, manufacturing and agricultural.
“Seeing this appointment and knowing Gov. Branstad,” said Fredericks. “Knowing what he brings to the table gives me confidence that I can feel more comfortable with what will be coming ahead when it comes to trade.”
Burns said since some of what Trump can say is controversial, he said Branstad would be the mediator who is respected by China’s president.
“Because I think he could be that buffer, and he’s probably the right guy for that job.”
The Senate must first confirm the nomination after Trump’s inauguration. Burns said he believes Branstad will remain the governor of Iowa until mid-April and will govern a good majority of the legislation session this year.
Lt. Gov Kim Reynolds would take over Branstad’s position as governor once he begins working as the ambassador to China, making her the first female governor in Iowa’s history.