WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s (R-IA) traveled to China on Saturday, February 24th to meet with U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and former Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad.
Ernst says she and Branstad discussed the importance of maintaining a strong trade partnership between the U.S. and China.
“Ambassador Branstad and I had an important and productive discussion about fostering a stronger trade partnership for our agricultural exports. Fair and reciprocal trade will advance both the United States’ economic and national security interests in the region,” said Senator Ernst. “As the United States’ largest agricultural export market, a strong trade relationship between the two nations is vital. We are committed to continuing our dialogue to advance U.S. interests in the region.”
Additionally, as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, Senator Ernst discussed with Ambassador Branstad ways the United States can engage with China and other nations in the region to de-escalate tensions with North Korea.
Ernst added, “The diplomatic relationship between China and the United States is critical, especially as we work with our partners in the region to deter current and future acts of aggression by North Korea. I am thankful for the Ambassador’s leadership on behalf of our nation in these areas, and look forward to continuing to work with him and the Trump administration to ensure that the United States remains a leader in the region.”
Ernst is also visiting South Korea and Japan. While in South Korea, the delegation she is with met with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Defense Minister Song Young-moo, General Brooks and United States Forces Korea leadership, and visited the DMZ. In Japan, the delegation visited with Japanese Foreign Minister Kono, Lt General Martinez and United States Forces Japan and 7th Fleet leadership. In both countries, the delegation discussed the importance of missile defense and countering North Korea as well as China’s growing influence in the region.
“As the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, I valued the opportunity to assess our capabilities in the region and reinforce our commitment to Indo-Pacific security to address threats from global adversaries, such as North Korea,” Ernst said. “The threats our nation and our allies face continue to evolve, and this trip underscored the need to continue to strengthen our partnerships in the region, diplomatically, economically, and militarily. I look forward to building off the progress made on this visit in Congress and in my subcommittee.”