8 Things You Need To Know About Rex Tillerson

Rex Tillerson’s pending nomination as Secretary of State is causing much speculation. Here are 8 things you need to know.

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name ExxonMobil’s CEO Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State. According to NBC News, two sources close to the transition process say that he will make the announcement next week.

As the United States’ top diplomat, he will work closely with U.N. Ambassador John Bolton as his deputy secretary of state. Bolton will be responsible managing the day-to-day operations of the department.

The sources did give one caveat: nothing should be considered final until the President-elect announces his choice.

He Has Close Ties To Russia

In 2011, Exxon Mobil entered into an agreement with Rosneft, which is Russia’s largest oil company. The agreement was related to joint oil exploration and production. So far, they have formed 10 joint ventures for exploration in Russia.

He has also been a harsh critic of the sanctions that were levied against Russia in response to is annexation of Crimea. He stated that he believed the sanctions were ineffective. Tillerson was also given the Order of Friendship from the Kremlin in 2012.

Tillerson’s Russian ties are expected to be an issue for critics if he is confirmed.

There Might Be Issues With Climate Change

Tillerson has a troubled history with proponents of climate change reform. Exxon Mobil is currently being investigated by the New York Attorney General’s office for allegedly misleading regulators and investors in its knowledge of global warming.

The company’s stockholders have pushed for change in its practices when it comes to the environment. Exxon Mobil’s management has opposed every climate-related resolution that have been proposed.

For those who believe climate change is a real danger, Tillerson’s stance may be a problem. However, this shouldn’t be an issue for most conservatives who doubt the actual impact of global warming.

He Has No Political Experience

Like several other members of Donald Trump’s cabinet, Tillerson has no political experience. If confirmed, he will be the first Secretary of State with no public sector experience.

Of course, his experience running Exxon Mobil, a multi-billion dollar company might be seen as enough of a qualification. As a matter of fact, some might see his experience in international business as a huge benefit.

Most Of His Political Views Are Unknown

While we know what Tillerson feels about Russia, climate change, and free trade, there isn’t much known about his other political views. He has supported Republican causes in the past. In the primaries, Tillerson supported Jeb Bush.

He has also given to Texas’ Republican party, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and others. Even so, nobody knows exactly where he aligns or diverges with his future boss when it comes to the issues.

He’s One Of The Highest-Paid CEO’s

Rex Tillerson has been ranked on lists of America’s highest-paid executives. In 2014, he made $33 million. This increased his total compensation to $165 million over the past five years. Most of his wealth is attributed to his more than $166 million worth of unvested stock grants.

He Supports Free Trade

Unlike the President-elect, Tillerson supports free trade. This was one of the main issues that Donald Trump attacked during his campaign.

In 2009, he gave a speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In this speech, he explained the need for more free trade agreements.

Here is what Tillerson said:

Tillerson Has Supported Free Trade, Which Trump Railed Against During the Election

In a 2009 speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Tillerson pushed for more free trade agreements.

Here’s what he had to say:

“By enabling advanced economies and innovative companies to create partnerships, work across borders, and train local populations, government can support the most efficient use of resources and human capital. And as we confront our current economic challenges, Congress must resist the urge to turn its back on these proven policies. The United States cannot afford to raise barriers to trade.”

He has also pushed for free trade in energy as well. It’s not yet clear how this stance will impact his relationship with the President-elect.

He Has Spoken Out Against Federal Regulations

Tillerson is against federal regulations. No big surprise there. Tillerson’s stance on federal regulations is aligned with the President-elect’s. As President, Trump has vowed to aggressively cut corporate regulations.

Recently, Tillerson has railed against government regulations on business. He has discussed his frustration with the regulations that his company has to deal with. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, when referring to government regulations, he said “there are a thousand ways you can be told no in this country.”

Tillerson’s stance on government regulation will please conservatives who believe that excessive regulations hinder economic growth.

His Favorite Book Is “Atlas Shrugged”

Rex Tillerson has stated that his favorite book is Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” a dystopian novel published in 1957. The book is touted by many conservatives and libertarians who espouse at least some of Ayn Rand’s views on conservative philosophy.

While not an important fact, it is indicative of Rex Tillerson’s views on the role government has in American society.


Even though President-elect Donald Trump has not yet announced his pick for Secretary of State, there is much speculation as to what this nomination could mean.