The newly approved ambassador to Rabat spent much of his life in business, a passion he inherited from his father who owned a car dealership in Michigan.
Rabat – Morocco will finally receive an American ambassador after the US Senate approved President Trump’s nomination of David T. Fischer as US ambassador to the North African country after several years.
Trump first nominated Fischer as ambassador to Morocco in November 2017. But the businessman began his confirmation hearing in the US Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relation almost a year later, in August 2018.
The impeached president is entrusting American diplomacy in Morocco to Fischer, who contributed an estimated $250,000 to Trump’s inauguration fund.
In his statement to the Senate committee as a nominee in August 2018, the ambassador vowed to work to reinforce the US-Morocco friendship and “continued economic, political, and security collaboration.”
He added that the cooperation with Morocco is “vital and must be strengthened.”
At least 120 American companies operate in Morocco.
Annual Moroccan-American trade has exceeded MAD 51 billion ($5.3 billion), an increase of 28% from 2017, the Moroccan government said.
It remains to be seen whether the new US ambassador will help boost trade and US- Morocco collaboration.
The new ambassador to Morocco was born in 1946 in southeastern Michigan, where his business career also started. Fischer’s father owned a car dealership in Troy, Michigan.
Fischer did not become a businessman only by instinct. The diplomat studied business at Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, graduating in 1968.
Fischer started his business career at his father’s car dealership after graduation. He spent his first years in the industry as an advisor to his father’s business before taking over the work in 1978.
Fischer developed his father’s business, the Suburban Collection, into the 14th largest car sales group in the US in 2017.
Fischer’s company has 36 dealerships across Michigan.
The newly appointed ambassador to Morocco has spent all his life in business. He also served as chairman of the Detroit Auto Dealer Association in 1987.
Fischer also served as president and chairman emeritus of the North American International Auto Show.
In addition to business, Fischer is known as a philanthropist in the Detroit area. He is on the board of the College for Creative Studies and headed up a fundraising campaign for the college.
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Fischer also served as a member of the State of Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission until December 2017.
Besides all of these offices he assumed during his career, Fischer is also a husband to Jennifer Fischer and a father to three sons.
Fischer has no history with Morocco, which makes him an unknown quantity for Moroccan diplomats.
The approval of Fischer to assume office in Rabat comes a few weeks after the “important” visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Rabat, where he met with senior Moroccan officials to discuss ways to deepen diplomatic relations between the two allies.
For Morocco, every senior appointment in the White House is important to preserve cooperation with the US for several reasons, including the issue of the Western Sahara conflict.
The Moroccan government had fears after Trump appointed John Bolton, later sacked, to his cabinet. The official holds grudges against the UN mission in Western Sahara known as MINURSO and wanted to speed up the process to hold a referendum, which is against Morocco’s position on the conflict.
Fischer, however, vowed in his previous audicenes to keep a neutral position with regards to the conflict. Last year in August, the ambassador recalled the US’s policy of supporting the UN-led efforts to find a “just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution to the conflict,” when a senator asked about his thoughts on the dispute.
Fischer also spoke about the UN mission and the efforts of the former Personal Envoy Horst Kohler and the UN talks with the parties to find a solution to the dispute.