Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has been confirmed as the next U-S ambassador to China. The U-S Senate voted 82-13 Monday to make his appointment official. Before the vote, Senator Chuck Grassley said Branstad has already been an ambassador his whole career.
“As governor, he’s been vigorous in promoting our state’s economy and opening markets for our farm commodities, financial service and our manufacturing to the world marketplace,” Grassley said.
Grassley also criticized Senate Democrats for procedural moves that have delayed confirmation votes for Branstad and other nominations President Donald Trump has made. Grassley said the delay didn’t seem to be the result of serious problems Democrats had with the nominations, but rather “delay for the sake of delay”. He said Branstad is an excellent choice for the ambassador’s post.
“Although his heart will always be in Iowa, I know that Governor Branstad will throw himself into this job wholeheartedly,” Grassley said. “Governor Branstad is uniquely qualified to help strengthen the trade, economic, cultural and geopolitical relationships between our two countries.”
Branstad will resign as governor Wednesday, and go through a three-week orientation in Washington before moving to China early this summer.
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will be sworn in as Iowa’s 43rd governor, and the first woman to take that office in Iowa, shortly after Branstad’s resignation.