Former China Ambassador Branstad zeroes in on trade relationships

Terry Branstad, the U.S. Ambassador to China under former President Trump, says building relationships around the world is critical to the success of U.S. agriculture.

“I know it’s especially important in Asia, and I think that’s why I was chosen as the ambassador because I’d been the governor that hosted Xi Jinping, the leader of China, in his first visit to America. And Iowans had done such a good job of treating him well that he calls us ‘old friends.”

Branstad was governor of Iowa from 1983 to 1999 and again from 2011 until he stepped down to become Ambassador to China in 2017.

“So if you have that friendship, that relationship, that really opens the door when there’s a need. And we see that time and time again.”

Branstad participated in a panel during the Iowa Renewable Fuels virtual summit Tuesday and said it is more difficult to cultivate those relationships right now because of the pandemic.  But he’s confident face-to-face meetings will resume as soon as travel restrictions relent. 

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