Former U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson applauds U.S. trade goals, not tactics

June 5, 2019

By Jennifer Hiller

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Rex Tillerson, former U.S. secretary of state and Exxon Mobil chairman who has clashed with President Trump since leaving the administration, said on Wednesday he supports the president’s trade objectives “but may not support the tactical moves.”

Tillerson said he was concerned that pursuing bilateral trade talks around the globe could weaken Washington’s network of friends an allies, which he called “that very strong alliance that’s been knitted together over the last 100 years.”

He also said he hopes that Chinese officials “don’t decide they can’t make an agreement with this administration and wait for the next one.”

Tillerson made a rare public appearance, speaking to about 500 energy executives at KPMG’s Global Energy Conference in Houston.

(Reporting by Jennifer Hiller; Editing by David Gregorio)

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