Who will be missing when U.S. Vice President Joe Biden as well as Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker meet in Mexico City Wednesday and Thursday in the third U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED) with Foreign Relations, Finance and Economy secretaries Claudia Ruiz, Luis Videgaray and Ildefonso Gallardo?
And the answer is, a U.S. ambassador to Mexico.
Definitely whoever is currently at the helm of the U.S. Embassy has carried out the proper procedures for the HLED and the gathering will go well.
But still, the U.S. has not had an ambassador since last August 2015 and the way things look at the Republican controlled U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee the nominee for ambassador, Roberta Jacobson, will not be approved or disapproved any time soon.
The man who’s impeded Jacobson’s presence in Mexico is Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who during his presidential nomination bid is building more tall walls between the two nations and speaking ill of the Mexican government.
But the importance of the HLED is beyond politics as the two nations have a bilateral $600 billion annual trade and these gatherings have been positive and yielded results to facilitate commerce. In fact, both secretaries, Pritzker and Videgaray were just together a few weeks ago during the inauguration of the Tornillo-Guadalupe Port of Entry at the busy Tijuana-San Ysidro border. The new facility is a state of the art effort to ease imports and exports with an expedited flow of merchandise to prevent long lines.
The problem is Senator Rubio is playing dirty politics with the Jacobson nomination.