New US Ambassador arrives in Mexico with ‘hand extended’

By PETER ORSI

Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — New U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau arrived in Mexico City on Friday to take up one of Washington’s most important diplomatic posts, which had been vacant for over a year, amid a tricky time for relations between the North American neighbors.

Landau replaces Roberta Jacobson, the first woman to be the United States’ envoy to Mexico, who resigned and retired in May 2018.

“I arrive with my hand extended. The United States wins when there is a prosperous and stable Mexico, and Mexico wins when there is a prosperous and stable United States,” Landau said in brief remarks to journalists upon arriving at Mexico City’s airport in the morning. He did not take questions.

The United States and Mexico have deep cultural, familial and economic ties. The United States buys about 80% of Mexican exports, some $358 billion last year, and in the first quarter of this year Mexico was the United States’ No. 1 commercial partner for the first time, ahead of Canada and China.

But Landau’s arrival comes after months of tensions over immigration and trade.

Mexico has cracked down a wave of mostly Central American migrants and asylum seekers moving through its territory after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to slap tariffs on imports from its southern neighbor. The number of migrants encountered by U.S. authorities in July dropped below 100,000 for the first time in five months, according to U.S. government data released last week.

A September deadline looms when the two countries are to evaluate progress on the issue.