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Branstad focused on Iowa while he prepares for confirmation as next U.S. ambassador to China

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -

Wednesday's trip to Sioux City, by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, may be his last before his confirmation hearing to become the next U.S. ambassador to China.

KTIV's Matt Breen sat down with Branstad to talk about how his future may rely heavily on the present.

"What is it like knowing your focus needs to be on governing here in Iowa, but also being mindful of international politics that could impact your next job?" Breen asked. "I'm preparing for going through that," said Gov. Terry Branstad, (R) Iowa. "I haven't gotten the word from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yet. So, I don't know when that's coming up. So, my focus continues to be my responsibility as the chief executive of the state, and making the tough decisions that need to be made to balance the budge, and create jobs and grow the Iowa economy."

"Knowing that the Trump administration is considering higher tariffs on products it exports to China-- things like steel-- how does that impact your future role as ambassador to China?" asked Breen. "Well, I'm going to be a go-between between the United States of America, and the People's Republic of China," said Branstad. "China is the biggest country in the world, population wise. They are second only to the United States in terms of economy. And, what I've told the Chinese is, remember Donald Trump is a businessman. And, many years ago, he wrote a book called 'The Art Of The Deal'. And, usually, the best deal is a win-win situation. And, hopefully, that can be good for both of our countries."

"The president's U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch was asked, just a day ago, if he'd be able to stand up to the president," said Breen. "Would you be able to similarly tell truth to power if there's something that you may not agree with coming from the Trump administration with regards to China?" "I think my role is to communicate to the president, and to our national leaders in Washington, the Chinese point of view on certain issues, as well as, explaining to the Chinese the American point of view," said Branstad. "So, my role will probably be working behind the scenes to try and work out some of these differences."

Branstad is a longtime friend of Chinese president Xi Jinping. They met during a Chinese delegation trip to Iowa in 1985. Back then, Xi was the president of a local feed association in the China's Hubei province.

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