US ambassador to China stepping down to join Trump campaign


The United States's ambassador to China is stepping down from his role and will assume a new position with the Trump campaign.

Terry Branstad's departure was announced on Monday, and he will officially be leaving his post next month. Branstad is scheduled to be back in time for the final leg of the campaign.

“I am proudest of our work in getting the Phase One trade deal and delivering tangible results for our communities back home," Branstad said in a statement, according to Fox Business. "Our goal remains meaningful, measurable results for American families. We have made significant progress and we will not stop pressing for more.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised Branstad, who left his role as governor of Iowa for the ambassadorship, for his more than three years in the diplomatic corps and for "contribut[ing] to rebalancing U.S.-China relations so that it is results-oriented, reciprocal, and fair." He added that President Trump chose Branstad for the role because his "decades long experience dealing with China made him the best person to represent the Administration and to defend American interests and ideals in this important relationship."

The ambassador's son Eric Branstad is already working on Trump's reelection campaign, and the president teased Branstad's decision to join his son on the campaign during a phone call with Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, which was posted on social media.

"Eric's father is coming home from China because he wants to campaign," Trump said during the call.

When Branstad was picked for the role of ambassador in 2017, Trump said in a statement, “Governor Branstad’s decades of experience in public service and long-time relationship with President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders make him the ideal choice to serve as America’s Ambassador to China."