UPDATE: Gov. Branstad formally accepts ambassador post - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Gov. Branstad formally accepts ambassador post

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(KWWL) -

Governor Branstad released the following statement today, accepting President-elect Trump's nomination.

"I love Iowa and I love my country.  For 22 years, I have been honored and privileged to serve the people of Iowa as their governor.  My family and I will always be grateful to Iowans for trusting me to lead and putting their faith in me to serve. 

 America is at a crossroads, and the American people are looking for bold change to renew our position as the leader in the world.  To once again hold America up as that ‘shining city upon a hill’ as President Reagan so proudly proclaimed.  By electing President-elect Trump on November 8, this message was sent loud and clear by the voters.

 During our 30-year friendship, President Xi Jinping and I have developed a respect and admiration for each other, our people and our cultures.  The United States - Chinese bilateral relationship is at a critical point.  Ensuring the countries with the two largest economies and two largest militaries in the world maintain a collaborative and cooperative relationship is needed more now than ever. The President-elect understands my unique relationship to China and has asked me to serve in a way I had not previously considered. 

 After long discussions with my family, I am honored and humbled to be nominated to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to China.  I also accept President-elect Trump’s charge to prioritize collaborative policies that will Make America Great Again.  This is an extraordinary opportunity.  I believe that the respect and admiration built over a decades-old friendship between President Xi and I give me an opportunity to help the President-elect and serve Iowa, the United States and the world for the better. 

 This new mission to continue serving my state, and my country, in a new role is essential to building a bright future for our children and grandchildren.  With my wife Chris by my side, I look forward to the work ahead but we will never have Iowa far from our hearts."

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There are now multiple reports this morning that Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has accepted Donald Trump's offer to be named Ambassador to China.

NBC News says it learned that from a source close to the governor.

This morning, the governor's office told KWWL "any report saying the governor has accepted a new role in the administration is premature and not confirmed." The governor's office also told KWWL to not expect any announcement today.

The Iowa Democratic Party released the following statement: "Congratulations to Governor Branstad. This is an incredibly important post to take. Governor Branstad's long-term relationship with China's President will hopefully result not only in a strong, positive relationship with China on behalf of the United States of America, but also a continued partnership with Iowa farmers, whose ag commodities are a central component of US trade--a boon for Iowa's rural economy."

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Iowa's governor could soon have a new job. Bloomberg is reporting Governor Terry Branstad has been offered the job as U.S. Ambassador to China.

The news broke late last night. We reached out to the governor's office.

"Those reports are not accurate and any news that he has accepted a new role is premature," said Ben Hammes, Communications Director for Governor Branstad.

Bloomberg says President-Elect Donald Trump offered the post to Branstad and he accepted.

Branstad had a meeting with Trump yesterday in New York. The two will be together in Des Moines tomorrow when the President-Elect brings his thank you tour to Iowa.

If Branstad accepts the job and is confirmed, that will have a ripple effect in Iowa. It would mean Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds would take over, making her the first woman to be governor of Iowa.

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Iowa Soybean Association heralds Gov. Branstad as U.S. ambassador to China.

Their official statement is below:

“Iowa and U.S. agriculture will be among the many beneficiaries of Gov. Terry Branstad’s selection as U.S. ambassador to China.

“His enduring relationship with the leaders and people of China, forged over many years of conversation and joint participation in activities here at home and abroad, will advance strong China-U.S. relations at a critical time for both countries.

“The governor and Iowa soybean farmers have long recognized the strategic and significant role China plays for U.S. agriculture. The country of nearly 1.4 billion people purchases nearly 60 percent of global soybean production. About one of every three rows of soybeans grown in Iowa are destined for China. Food is essential for life and trade relations forged with the people of China by Branstad and soybean farmers will serve both countries well.

“Branstad has and continues to be a champion of Iowa’s farm families. Having been raised on a farm and served Iowans as the state’s chief executive officer during the depths of the farm crisis, he has a unique understanding of what makes rural America tick. He will draw from these experiences to serve all Americans as ambassador.

“While we acknowledge the opportunities that abound for our state and country as a result of Branstad’s selection as U.S. ambassador to China, we recognize his long and distinguished service as Iowa governor. We look forward to presenting Gov. Branstad with our Friend of the Iowa Soybean Farmer Award next week during a meeting of the ISA board of directors in Ankeny.

“We also welcome the opportunity to work with Iowa’s new chief executive to advance the competitiveness of soybean farmers to the benefit of all Iowans.”

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The GOP now making a statement on Branstad's role.

Preceding a visit to Des Moines on Thursday, President-Elect Donald Trump’s transition team announced that Iowa Governor Terry Branstad had been chosen to serve as the U.S. ambassador to China. 

“I commend President-Elect Donald Trump for his decision to appoint Governor Terry Branstad as America’s ambassador to China,” stated Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kauffmann. “Over the decades as Governor, Terry Branstad has forged a unique and lasting relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He is immensely qualified to strengthen the United States’ relationship with China and to promote economic prosperity and cultural understanding between the two nations. On a personal note, it is an honor to call Governor Terry Branstad a dear friend, and I wish him the very best in this future endeavor.”

Additionally Co-Chairman Cody Hoefert stated, “While Iowans will certainly miss Governor Branstad and his extraordinary service and leadership in this state, all Americans are incredibly fortunate to have the Governor serve in this critical leadership position.”

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