Media Coverage from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's address at UT-Austin

Jan 29, 2018

On February 1st, The University of Texas at Austin hosted U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson for an address on U.S. engagement in the Western Hemisphere. This event was co-hosted by the Clements Center for National Security and the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law.

Principal co-sponsors include the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the LBJ Presidential Library.  

Additional University co-sponsors include Cockrell School of Engineering, McCombs School of Business, College of Liberal Arts, Jackson School of Geosciences, Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies, Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business, Energy Institute, Intelligence Studies Project, Mexico Security Initiative, Archer Center, and Alexander Hamilton Society.

Here's just a sample of the news coverage of the event:

National media:

The Wall Street Journal noted that Secretary Tillerson's visit comes at the one year anniversary of being sworn in as Secretary of State. 

Los Angeles Times emphasized Tillerson's "'holistic' approach to security that tackles economic development as well as drug trafficking and transnational crime."

CBS News summarized that "the Secretary touched on three pillars of U.S. engagement with the region: economic growth, security and democratic governance." They highlighted how Secretary Tillerson's "Texas roots" add context to his understanding of NAFTA and the role of international trade on jobs and income in Texas. 

Financial Times quoted the Secretary: “I’m a Texan, former energy executive and I’m also a rancher. I understand how important NAFTA is for our economy and that of the continent."

The Hill reported that "in his speech Thursday, Tillerson touted U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan officials and delivered a pledge to crackdown on corruption and authoritarian governments in Latin America."

Fox News and Voice of America too covered Secretary Tillerson's address, emphasizing his tough line against Russian and Chinese influence in Latin America as "unfriendly unfriendly regimes who do not share or respect democratic values."

Other national outlets covering Sec. Tillerson's speech include: Newsweek, Reuters, and BBC 

Local coverage: 

On the topic of NAFTA, the Dallas Morning News reported that, although Sec. Tillerson is not directly involved in the negotiation, he "thanked negotiators from Canada and Mexico for their work and said the United States would continue to seek a 'modernized' agreement."

UT's student newspaper, the Daily Texan, in true Longhorn style highlighted the Secretary's remarks on the Red River Rivalry, quoting Sec. Tillerson "We just need to get in place a visa program for the Red River, and we just won’t issue any visas to the Oklahoma football team." Reporter Chase Karacostas interviewed CC Undergraduate Fellow Abigail Griffin who said that the visit "humanized" the Secretary: "You always bleed orange once you’ve been here, and I think it’s really cool to see that in prominent individuals."

Other local coverage included: Texas Tribune, KXAN, and the Austin American Statesman.


A full transcript of the Secretary's remarks and his conversation with CC Executive Director Will Inboden can be found on the Department of State website