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Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad Accepts CHINA Ambassador Post
Victor Morton Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has reportedly accepted an offer from President-elect Donald Trump to be the U.S. ambassador to China.
Bloomberg News first reported the choice Tuesday night, citing three unnamed sources.
Mr. Branstad, a personal friend of Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Chinese leader’s days as a provincial agriculture official, would take over a relationship that has the potential to get very stormy under a Trump administration.
Mr. Trump repeatedly attacked China for its trade and currency policies during the campaign and broke diplomatic protocol over the weekend by accepting a congratulatory phone call from the president of Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province.
Mr. Branstad was an early backer of the Trump campaign and helped the tycoon carry Iowa by a comfortable nine percentage points over Hillary Clinton in November. At an election-week rally in Iowa, Mr. Trump called him “our prime candidate to take care of China.”
The governor met with Mr. Trump on Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York and talked to reporters after the event but declined to say whether he’d been offered the China ambassadorship.
“I’m really excited about the quality of people that he’s attracting to the Cabinet,” he said. “I’m very proud to have supported Donald Trump for president.”
Mr. Trump’s “thank you” victory tour hits Iowa on Thursday.