WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The full Senate now needs to vote on Branstad's confirmation.
Xi Jinping reportedly struck a friendship with Branstad during the first visit to Iowa in 1985, back when he was a low-ranking Chinese official, and the US governor helped arrange the second visit in 2012.
According to the US-China Business Council, in 2015 China was Iowa's second biggest export market after Canada. The US state is mainly exporting crops, machinery, beverages, tobacco, chemicals and electronics as well as services including travel, royalties and equipment maintenance.
Iowa exported $1.4 billion worth of crops to China in 2015, while the overall China exports profit totaled $2.3 billion.