If there’s one thing Republicans and Democrats have agreed on in foreign policy, it’s the power of sanctions. But Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of state has seen things differently. Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson opposed the sanctions levied on Moscow for its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014. The sanctions cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars.
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At his company’s 2014 annual meeting, Tillerson stated flatly: “We do not support sanctions.” In Washington, both parties have supported sanctions against foreign governments, pressuring Iran into nuclear concessions or Myanmar into democratic reform.
It’s not clear if Tillerson would follow their lead if he becomes America’s top diplomat. Trump has favored some sanctions. Tillerson likely will be grilled about his views at his Senate confirmation hearings.