“… the position of U.S. Ambassador to China is one of the most important ambassadorial positions in the world, and I am confident that President Trump has made an excellent choice in nominating Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for this role. I look forward to him being confirmed by the Senate and bringing the ‘Iowa Way’ to Beijing.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) today introduced Iowa Governor Terry Branstad to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for his confirmation hearing to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the People's Republic of China.

Click here or the image below to watch Senator Ernst’s remarks.

The following is the full text of Senator Ernst’s remarks:

“Thank you, Chairman Corker and Ranking Member Cardin and to the members of the committee.

“It is my privilege to be here today, along with our longtime senior senator, Senator Grassley, to introduce my governor, my friend, and the longest serving governor in U.S. history, Terry Branstad.

“A native Iowan, Governor Branstad served in the Iowa legislature before serving our state as governor from 1983 to 1999, and again from 2011 until what I hope will be his swift confirmation as U.S. Ambassador to China.

“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.

“Importantly, Governor Branstad also knows China and its leaders well. He first met President Xi Jinping while he was visiting Iowa on an agricultural research trip in 1985. They have kept in touch over the years, and Governor Branstad has since visited China a number of times on behalf of the State of Iowa.

“Iowa’s extensive trade relationship with China has given Governor Branstad a front-seat view of the complexities of our country’s broader trade and economic relationship with China, and will provide him with the foundation to effectively advocate for U.S. interests.

“While our bilateral economic relationship with China is certainly important, I don’t have to tell you that our list of bilateral issues with China is long and expands beyond trade and investment to include issues like North Korea, the South China Sea, human rights, and more. 

“Accordingly, the position of U.S. Ambassador to China is one of the most important ambassadorial positions in the world, and I am confident that President Trump has made an excellent choice in nominating Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for this role. I look forward to him being confirmed by the Senate and bringing the ‘Iowa Way’ to Beijing.

“I also want to extend my thanks to the support that has been given to Governor Branstad by his wonderful family and I know he’ll introduce Chris and the rest of his family soon. They are truly an asset to Iowa, I know that they are going to be a greater asset for the United States of America.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”