U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday briefed his staff how an “America First” agenda effects into foreign policy, even as Tillerson refused to address the Trump’s proposed budget cuts, that troubles several diplomats.
Tillerson noted that U.S. foreign policy priorities had gotten “a little bit out of balance” in the past years, because the United States focused more on promoting economic activity and trade with emerging economies.
“These are really important relationships to us, and they’re really important alliances, but we’ve got to bring them back into balance,” he said, speaking without notes and walking around the stage in a packed State Department auditorium.
He also signaled that the United States would de-emphasize human rights concerns in some of its interactions with other countries, saying that while U.S. values remain constant, its policies can adapt.
“If we condition too heavily that others must adopt this value that we’ve come to over a long history of our own, it really creates obstacles to our ability to advance our national security interests, our economic interests,” Tillerson said.