Former Governor, Ambassador Branstad says U.S.-China relations at low point

FOREST CITY — Former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad recently returned to China, the country where he served as U.S. Ambassador for three years.

“We still do a significant amount of business with them,” Branstad said. “The Chinese appreciate the quality and the safety of American food. We sell them a lot of agriculture goods, but we’re very concerned about the aggressive relationship both in terms of economic and military.”

Branstad resigned as ambassador to China in the fall of 2020. A year later he formed a consulting firm that gives advice on how to conduct business in China.

“Xi Jinping treated me well while I was there, but I’m certainly very concerned about the economic differences that we have,” Branstad said.

Branstad met China’s president in 1985, when Xi was part of a delegation of Chinese officials who visited Iowa. Branstad, who visited Forest City on Sunday, said he’d like to see U.S. relations with China get back to where they were when he was governor.

“I’m hopeful that it’ll get better,” Branstad said, “…It’s at a kind of a low point right now.”

Three weeks ago, Branstad was in China with two other former U.S. Ambassadors three weeks ago to launch the non-profit U.S. China Green Institute, to promote collaboration on climate solutions in both countries.