Tillerson advises diplomats to dodge questions on Paris deal: report

Tillerson advises diplomats to dodge questions on Paris deal: report
© Getty Images

The State Department is advising U.S. diplomats to skirt questions from foreign governments about the Trump administration's stance on the Paris climate deal, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The guidance, sent to U.S. embassies on Friday by Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Pompeo working to rebuild ties with US diplomats: report NYT says it was unfair on Haley curtain story MORE, provides prospective questions foreign government officials could ask diplomats and suggests answers.

For example, according to Reuters, if asked "What is the process for consideration of re-engagement in the Paris Agreement?" the diplomat should give a generalized response, such as, "We are considering a number of factors. I do not have any information to share on the nature or timing of the process."

ADVERTISEMENT

The cable also advises diplomats to anticipate questions on why the Trump administration has eased restrictions on global development banks that make it easier for the institutions to finance coal-powered projects.

Trump announced in June that he was lifting an Obama-era policy that curbed financing for coal-fired power plants abroad. 

Tillerson's cable came a little more than two months after Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the landmark Paris climate deal. The president said the deal was killing American jobs and placing an unfair burden on the country. 

Trump suggested, at one point, that the Paris agreement could be renegotiated.

Tillerson's cable, though, casts further doubt on whether the administration will pursue that option. Key foreign leaders in countries like Germany, France and Italy, have also insisted that the deal cannot be renegotiated.