“We the people” who did not vote for the republican President-elect Donald Trump should do whatever is legally permitted to resist anything that he does which is contrary to the best interests of every day American workers. As a matter of fact, the democrats should head to the courts as soon as the president-elect enters the White House on January 20, 2016 to litigate his conflicts of interests regarding any and all of his foreign financial dealings; and the lease he has regarding his Washington DC hotel. Anyone who is a party to the lease with the GSA (Government Services Agency), cannot be a government employee. This appears to be the only way that the American public will be fully informed as to the president-elect’s true status of all his financial dealings around the world.
What has the president-elect demonstrated by his recent actions to give us a clue as to what he plans to do, once he is ensconced in the White House?
1.) So far, he seems to be resisting divesting himself from his financial ties, in particular foreign financial interests; and he has not addressed the lease issue pertaining to his Washington DC hotel, but he has a month left to fix this.
2.) The president-elect has been reiterating that he will remove himself from the management of his businesses while his two older sons will run everything without any input from him. With regards to his foreign business interests, the president elect’s proposal is not sufficient. By having his children present in key meetings, he has sent the signal around the world, that when foreign dignitaries interact with them, they are acting in concert with the president-elect.
3.) The president-elect has been forecasting his intent to enact a more favorable foreign policy with Russia throughout his campaign in the following ways. He continues to downplay Russia’s role in hacking U.S. democratic and other institutions; and he plans to eliminate EPA regulations which impedes the increase of U.S. usage and exporting of fossil fuels which also explains why he continues to deny the science of climate change. This is a clear indicator that the president-elect plans to prop up the fossil fuel industry at the expense of taking concrete steps to mitigate the harm from climate change problems; and at the expense of U.S. national and geopolitical interests.
The problem with the president-elect’s alleged plan to prop up the fossil fuel industry is that this strategy will end up focusing on the marginal increase of the good paying jobs of the past, instead of leading us into the future with better paying jobs in an industry of clean energy technology, where the U.S. can become less dependent on foreign supplies of fossil fuels and where the U.S. can mitigate the harm to Americans due to climate change like the increase of flooding and other weather influenced disasters that we have witnessed in recent years.
Then along comes the president-elect’s perfect pick to be the next U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Exxon CEO.
On 12/18/16, The Guardian writers Luke Harding and Hannes Munzinger penned the following article, ” Leak reveals Rex Tillerson was director of Bahamas-based US-Russian oil firm:”
“Rex Tillerson, the businessman nominated by Donald Trump to be the next US secretary of state, was the long-time director of a US-Russian oil firm based in the tax haven of the Bahamas, leaked documents show.”
“Tillerson – the chief executive of ExxonMobil – became a director of the oil company’s Russian subsidiary, Exxon Neftegas, in 1998. His name – RW Tillerson – appears next to other officers who are based at Houston, Texas; Moscow; and Sakhalin, in Russia’s far east.”
“The leaked 2001 document comes from the corporate registry in the Bahamas. It was one of 1.3m files given to the Germany newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung by an anonymous source. The registry is public but details of individual directors are typically incomplete or missing entirely.”
“Though there is nothing untoward about this directorship, it has not been reported before and …Exxon said on Sunday that Tillerson was no longer a director after becoming the company’s CEO in 2006.”
“ExxonMobil’s use of offshore regimes – while legal – may also jar with Trump’s avowal to put “America first.”
“Tillerson’s critics say he is too close to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and that his appointment could raise potential conflicts of interest.”
“ExxonMobil is the world’s largest oil company and has for a long time been eyeing Russia’s vast oil and gas deposits. Tillerson currently has Exxon stock worth more than $200m.”
“In 2013, Putin awarded himthe Russian Order of Friendship.Tillerson is close to Igor Sechin, the head of Russian state oil company Rosneft and the de facto second most powerful figure inside the Kremlin. A hardliner, Sechin is ex-KGB.”
“Tillerson’s award followed a 2011 deal between ExxonMobil and Rosneft to explore thr Kara Sea, in Russia’s Arctic.”(est. value up to $500 billion dollars)
“It was put on hold in 2014 after the Obama administration imposed wide-ranging sanctions against Russia. The sanctions were punishment for Putin’s Crimea annexation that spring and Russia’s undercover invasion of eastern Ukraine.”
“The ban covers the US sharing of sophisticated offshore and shale oil technology. Exxon was supposed to halt its drilling with Rosneft. The firm successfully pleaded with the US Treasury department to delay the ban by a few weeks, with the Kremlin threatening to seize its rig. In this brief window Exxon discovered a major Arctic field with some 750m barrels of new oil.”
“Tillerson has criticised the US government’s policy on Russia. In 2014 he told Exxon’s annual meeting that “we do not support sanctions”.
“It is widely assumed by investors that the new Trump administration will drop sanctions. This would allow the Kara joint venture to resume, boosting Exxon’s share price and yielding potential profits in the tens of billions of dollars. According to company records, Tillerson currently owns $218m of stock. His Exxon pension is worth about $70m.”
“As well as on oil and gas, the Obama administration has imposed personal sanctions on Putin’s friends, including Sechin. Sechin has said that “one of his ambitions is to ride the roads in the United States on motorcycles with Tillerson.” Currently, Sechin is forbidden from entering the country.”
“This new revelation about Rex Tillerson’s directorship sheds light on the use by multinational companies of contrived offshore structures, now under scrutiny following April’s massive Panama Papers leak.”
“Exxon Neftegas’s most important oil and gas project is Sakhalin-1. It is located in the sub-Arctic, off the frozen and difficult-to-access north-east coast of Russia’s Sakhalin island. This is 10,700km (6,650 miles) away from the subsidiary’s official business home in Nassau, the semi-tropical capital of the Bahamas. The Bahamas is notorious for secrecy and has a corporate tax rate of zero.”
“The documents from the Bahamas corporate registry were shared by Süddeutsche Zeitung with the Guardian and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in Washington DC. They show that Exxon registered at least 67 companies in the secretive tax haven, covering operations in countries from Russia to Venezuela to Azerbaijan.”