Donald Trump taps Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State following weeks of speculation as to who the president-elect will select for the top diplomatic job.
Tillerson is an unusual choice for Secretary of State. He has spent his entire career at Exxon Mobil starting as a production engineer in 1975 and working his way up through the ranks to become CEO of the fifth largest company in the world.
Tillerson brings to the position an incredible background in international business negotiation with countries all around the world, especially since the oil industry touches just about every other industry as it is needed for the transportation of goods.
The Tillerson pick is not without controversy. Since the announcement that he was on Trump’s short list for the position, the media has made a big to-do about Tillerson’s friendly relationship with Russian leader Vladimir Putin who had bestowed upon him a friendship award.
Trump supporters say that a Secretary of State who has a good relationship with Russia is an asset to the United States, not a liability. Interestingly enough, Tillerson and Trump don’t see eye to eye on all issues. Tillerson is a free trade proponent and consequently likely to be an advocate for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which Trump vehemently opposes.
Tillerson is also said to be left of Trump on the climate change issue. In 2015, two separate investigative reports were released from InsideClimateNews and The Los Angeles Times which depicted how Exxon has been conducting climate change research for decades. However, following those reports, some allegations surfaced that Exxon tried to suppress climate change data.
Once again, with the choice of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, president-elect Donald Trump has demonstrated that he is willing to fill his cabinet with individuals who are not from cookie-cutter molds, and who also may have policy opinions and track records which differ from his.
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