The time has come for a new U.S. ambassador to Mexico. Though there are names of potential nominees being tossed around, the one who’s gone out of his way to promote his name in Mexico is no doubt Larry Rubin.
Born in Mexico City under the name of Larrie Davie Rubin Querejeta, he was also educated at the American School and Anahuac University. He was chief executive officer for the American Chamber of Commerce, “serves as Managing Partner of DHR International (a global executive search firm) in Mexico, is the President and Chairman of the Board of The American Society of Mexico and represents the United States Republican Party in Mexico,” according to his Wikipedia page which will be erased in 30 days as it is considered a promo piece and not a true profile. Wikipedia describes him as an American-Mexican businessman.
A noticeable interview was made by an anonymous reporter in website magazine Nación 321, because for months Rubin threw his hat into the ring to be selected as the next U.S. ambassador to Mexico. Whether he wins the tiger’s raffle or not remains to be seen, but there are several things about his bio that raise not just attention, but eyebrows.
First, it’s unusual that someone calls himself an “American-Mexican.” The norm is the other way around “Mexican-American,” but from the looks of this and previous interviews, Rubin feels more a gringo (as Mexican-Americans do, by the way) than a Mexican.
It was precisely this interpretation of his nationality that grabbed my eye from the interview, because at the end of it the reporter asks him (in Spanish) if he could consider being the Mexican ambassador to the United States, as his dual nationality allows for it.
“And in case you’re not taked into consideration for the U.S. embassy in Mexico, how would you like to be the ambassador of the Mexican government in Washington?”
“The truth is that I never thought of it that way,” says Rubin with a hearty laugh. “I think there’s a lot to do in the bilateral relations and for that it takes an adaptable politicians and not one who thinks like they thought 10 years ago. That’s not feasible today and much the less in an administration like that of Donald Trump.”
Of course his way of thinking is coherent with the many years he spent as CEO at The American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico (AmCham), an organizations whose main interest is defending U.S. investment interests in Mexico, a role that many an ambassador in the past has performed.
Most likely today Rubin is in Washington D.C. waiting for the Trump Inauguration Day activities and will definitely make his presence felt at the upcoming State Department to learn what the new president’s priorities are.
Like Trump, he has a “first 100 days plan” in case he is nominated for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico position.
The next ambassador, the 42 year-old Rubin, told Nación 321, that he is to have “in full detail the priorities of the Trump government as to build up a bilateral agenda. My priority will be to have the two presidents sit down to dialogue, but also to have Wilbur Ross (Commerce Department nominee) sits with Ildefonso Guajardo (Mexican Economy Secretary), as well as Rex Tillerson (State Dept. nominee) sitting with Luis Videgaray (Foreign Relations Secretary).”
That would be a preliminary move in order to set up an agenda to renegotiate the 23-year old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a negotiation Trump calls “disastrous” and should be renegotiated.
As for the three nominees now under questioning at the U.S. Senate, Rubin sees them as “entrepreneurs and politicians, who if they do not agree with what [Trump] says, are going to let him know. They are not going to stay mum because they made it to those positions, but to be congruous. If I am appointed U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and it is necessary to opine in something with which I do not agree with President Trump, I’m going to tell him.”
As for the wall Trump wants to erect along the full border, he sees that as a problem “in which we have to find a solution; we’ll have to see. The wall is already partially built, at least a third of it, and what has to be analyzed in depth is its completion and to see if that is the best solution to keep the United States safe.”
But for now Rubin — head of the Republican Party in Mexico and who did not vote for Trump because he disagreed with the now president-elect precisely on the issue of U.S.-Mexico future relations — will have to wait first until Rex Tiller’s son is approved as Secretary of State and then meet with him.
That’s going to take a week or two, but the one fact is that Rubin is willing and available to use his youth and experience to cushion up what looks like a rough future in bilateral relations.