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Politics U.S. ambassador to Canada confirms he will resign when Trump is sworn in

U.S ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman.

The U.S. ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman, has confirmed he will resign and leave the country on the day that Donald Trump is sworn in as President.

The Trump transition team has issued an order requiring all of President Barack Obama's politically appointed envoys to leave their posts by Inauguration Day, which is Jan. 20.

"As requested I have resigned as U.S. ambassador to Canada effective 1/20," Mr. Heyman wrote in a tweet. "I will depart on or around that date."

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Mr. Heyman, who was a senior executive at Goldman Sachs in Chicago, was named ambassador to Canada in April, 2014.

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One of Mr. Heyman's key achievements was a preclearance border deal to simplify the movement of goods and people that has frustrated commerce and travellers since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, while also maintaining security.

There is no word yet on who Mr. Trump may pick to serve as his ambassador to Canada, but the position will be of key importance given the president-elect's determination to reopen the North American free-trade agreement.

It is not uncommon for incoming U.S. presidents to require political appointees to step aside, particularly when they are from different political parties. Former ambassador David Wilkins, who was named U.S. envoy to Canada by President George W. Bush, served right up to the inauguration of Barack Obama in January, 2009.

The Canada posting was left vacant for seven months until Chicago lawyer and Obama fundraiser David Jacobson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He took up the posting in Ottawa in October, 2009.

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A senior Trump transition official told the New York Times that there was no ill will in the move, describing it as a simple matter of ensuring Mr. Obama's overseas envoys leave the government on schedule, just as thousands of political aides at the White House and in federal agencies must do.

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