For Immediate Release 
December 7, 2016

President-Elect Donald J. Trump Intends to Nominate Governor Terry Branstad as U.S. Ambassador to China

(New York, NY) – President-elect Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to nominate Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa, the longest-serving governor in American history, to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to China.
Gov. Branstad's relationship with President Xi Jinping dates back to the mid-1980s, when President Xi was a young county official seeking a closer relationship with Iowa's robust agriculture sector.
“Governor Branstad’s decades of experience in public service and long-time relationship with President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders make him the ideal choice to serve as America’s Ambassador to China,” said President-elect Trump. “He successfully developed close trade ties with China while serving as chief executive of the Hawkeye State. That experience will serve him well as he represents America’s interests and further develops a mutually beneficial relationship with Chinese leadership.”
"After long discussions with my family, I am honored and humbled to accept President-elect Trump’s nomination to represent our great country as Ambassador to China," said Gov. Branstad. "I have known President Xi Jinping for many years and consider him an old friend. I look forward to building on our long friendship to cultivate and strengthen the relationship between our two countries and to benefit our economy. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to serve as Governor of Iowa and I look forward to serving in this extraordinary new role.  Chris and I will always keep Iowa close to our hearts." 
Gov. Branstad is the longest-serving governor in American history, having served from 1983 to 1999 and again from 2011 until the present. Since leading his first delegation to Hebei Province in 1984, the Governor has led six trade missions to China meeting with numerous provincial governors, ministerial leaders and local officials.
Gov. Branstad is considered an “old friend”, a culturally significant title, by President Xi and has a long-standing relationship with the Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai.   
Gov. Branstad collaborated with the Ministry of Agriculture for China, including meetings with Minister Han Changfu and 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.
Gov. Branstad was born, raised and educated in Iowa. A native of Leland, Branstad was elected to the Iowa House in 1972, ’74 and ’76, and elected as Iowa’s lieutenant governor in 1978. Following his four terms as governor, Branstad went on to serve as president of Des Moines University from 2003-2009. On November 2, 2010 he was again elected governor where, under his leadership, the state of Iowa's unemployment has fallen to 4.1 percent, well below the national average.  
Gov. Branstad supports President-elect Trump’s mission to negotiate trade deals that put America’s interests first. He will work with President-elect Trump’s economic team to negotiate fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages, and reduce America's trade deficit. He will also work with President-elect Trump’s national security team to implement an America First foreign policy that will advance America’s core national interests and promote regional stability.
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What They Are Saying: Leaders Praise President-Elect Trump's Nomination of Governor Terry Branstad to be Ambassador of China

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
“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.”
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA)
“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,” stated Ernst. “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.”

Lu Kang, Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, People’s Republic of China

"Mr. Branstad is an old friend of the Chinese people and we welcome him to play a greater role in promoting Sino-US relations. The US ambassador to China is an important bridge between the US government and the Chinese government."

The Republican Governor’s Association
“Governor Terry Branstad is an exceptional choice by President-elect Trump to represent America as U.S. Ambassador to China,” said RGA Chairman Governor Scott Walker. “In his nearly 22 years as Iowa’s chief executive, Governor Branstad has consistently strengthened his state, and now as our nation’s top liaison to China, he’ll help strengthen American interests abroad. The RGA congratulates Governor Branstad on his selection and looks forward to his leadership on the world stage.

Paul E. Schickler, President, DuPont Pioneer

"Governor Branstad is a smart choice for U.S. Ambassador to China. It will be good for the United States, good for China and good for Iowa. The governor brings two important strengths to this role: strong existing relationships with China at multiple levels and experience as a leading advocate for trade. These strengths will benefit international commerce and help further advance China’s goal of modernizing its agricultural industry. I fully support Senate approval of the governor's appointment."

Jay Timmons, President and CEO of National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 
“Terry Branstad is the perfect pick for this important position. Working closely with Gov.Branstad and his outstanding team for many years, I know he is a man true to his word and has been tested over and over again as Iowa’s chief executive, said Timmons. From leading his state out of tough economic times to balancing Iowa’s budget, he understands what manufacturers and businesses need to invest and grow—and has a proven record of results.
“The governor’s deep understanding of China, and close relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, uniquely qualifies him for this vital post. For manufacturers, China stands as one of our largest trade and investment partners, but it is also a major challenge, imposing a range of market-distorting policies and practices that impact manufacturers in the United States, said Timmons. I have full confidence that Gov. Branstad will help forge a strong U.S.–China relationship that is based on the principles of fairness, respect and, most importantly, the rule of law. He understands that manufacturers are committed to building meaningful ties with China—but will not settle for anything less than a free and fair competitive landscape where both countries are playing by the same rules."

Mary Andringa, Chairman of the Board of Vermeer Corporation
“As the leader of an Iowa-based equipment manufacturer, I have worked closely with Gov. Branstad over the course of his many years of service to the state of Iowa,” said Andringa. “The governor is a pragmatic and inclusive leader who knows how to bring people together to solve problems and pursue opportunities. He has more than 30 years of experience working closely with Chinese leaders and has proudly hosted them in Iowa on numerous occasions. The governor knows the importance of a strong and constructive relationship with one of our largest trading partners, and he has the experience needed to represent us effectively in Beijing.”
Siva Yam, President, U.S. - China Chamber of Commerce
“Governor Terry Branstad is an excellent choice. President Xi Jinping lived in Iowa for three weeks, and he has a special relationship with Governor Branstad and a passion for the State of Iowa.  Governor Branstad has made a number of trips to China and visited President Xi on a number of occasions. China is in the heart of Governor Branstad, and he understands how important China is for the U.S.    In a country that personal relationship (Guanxi) is paramount, this will help to bridge the differences between the two greatest nations in the world.  I can tell you that this is an excellent choice that could only be made with in-depth research and good understanding of the socio-political elements.”
Neil Dierks, CEO of the National Pork Producers Council 
“I have no doubt that Gov. Branstad will be a great ambassador to China, and with his background, it will be good for our industry, good for agriculture and good for rural America and the country at large. President-elect Trump couldn’t have made a better pick for this important post.”
Robert Hormats, Former Under - Secretary of State 
“It’s a good pick because he knows President Xi, he can represent the heartland of the United States, which I think is very positive, and the fact that President Xi has been in his state twice is a very positive thing…It creates a personal relationship that is very hard to replicate.”

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