Branstad formally accepts offer to become China ambassador

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump has announced his choice of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to be the next U.S. ambassador to China.

Trump announced his pick of Branstad on Wednesday at a Manhattan fundraiser.

A Trump transition spokesman confirmed that Branstad had accepted the nomination.

Branstad aides didn’t respond to questions Wednesday about the matter.

Branstad will face a U.S. Senate confirmation process that could take weeks as Trump himself prepares to be sworn in as president. When Branstad resigns as governor, he’ll be replaced by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, making her the first female governor of Iowa.

Branstad will join Trump at a rally in Des Moines on Thursday.