US Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson has announced that she will resign from her post, as the trade war between the two North American countries escalates.
An expert on Latin American affairs, Jacobson has reportedly been struggling to strike the right balance between defending President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and her strong belief in US trade with Mexico.
“She is an undisputed Mexico expert, highly regarded for her deft touch in smoothing ruffled Mexican feathers after undiplomatic presidential tweets,” wrote Pamela K. Starr, Associate Professor of International Relations, University of Southern California, in a news article, claiming that the diplomat is her personal friend.
Jacobson has spent most of her career dealing with Latin American governments, including taking part in the Obama administration’s effort to reopen the US embassy in Cuba.
With trump in the White House, playing the role of a US diplomat in Mexico is no doubt a challenging task. The president is vowing to make Mexico pay for the wall he wants to build across the border, pledging to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and promising to deport thousands of Mexicans living illegally in the United States.
“I have come to the difficult decision that it is the right time to move on to new challenges and adventures,” Jacobson wrote in her letter, according to reports. “This decision is all the more difficult because of my profound belief in the importance of the U.S.-Mexico relationship and knowledge that it is at a crucial moment.”
Mexico is the biggest trade partner for the United States, with the two countries doing more than US$556 billion in business last year. Together they trade US$1.5 billion in goods and services every day.