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Former Iowa governor visits Lee County

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FORT MADISON (WGEM) -- Former Iowa governor and newly-resigned U.S. ambassador to China Terry Branstad stopped in Fort Madison on Tuesday afternoon.

Speaking to the Rotary Club, Branstad answered questions, swapped stories and talked about his more than three years as ambassador.

With some Iowa farmers saying they're struggling, Brandstad pointed to the new trade deal between the U.S. and China as a win for local farmers and President Trump.

"We've now seen record sales of corn, soybeans, pork and beef to the Chinese and the Chinese are enforcing intellectual property rights for the first time," he said.

Despite Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds continuing to face criticism for her handling of the coronavirus, Branstad praised his former lieutenant governor, saying she has managed to keep Iowa's economy one of the most resilient in the nation.

"The Council of State Government's recently put out a publication saying Iowa is the most resilient of all of the 50 states in this difficult challenging time," he said.

Brandstad also praised U.S. Senator Joni Ernst for her qualifications and service to the state.

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Blake Sammann

Blake Sammann is a reporter and weekend anchor at WGEM News.

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