Governor Branstad will be undergoing interviews in Washington this week in preparation for his confirmation hearings before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The committee will rule on his nomination to be U.S. Ambassador to China at an unspecified time in the future.
In the meantime staff in D.C. have put together an ambitious schedule of talks.
“I'll meet with a number of senators and people from the state department,” Branstad said. “Obviously, this is one of most important assignments because China is the largest country in the world, but also second only to the United States in terms of their economy.”
Interviews this week will include Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee.
“I'll be meeting with a number of people on the committee and also meeting with other congressional leaders who are not on the committee as well,” Branstad added. “And I already have some briefing materials that I’ll study on the way out there too.”
The president of China will meet this week with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago, the president’s Florida retreat.
Branstad said it would not be appropriate for him to join those talks.
“That would be premature,” Branstad said. “I’ve not been confirmed.”