President Donald Trump’s top economic advisor Gary Cohn resigns after tariff dispute

07 March 2018, 08:23 AM
Donald Trump’s top economic advisor Gary Cohn resigns
Donald Trump’s top economic advisor Gary Cohn resigns

President Donald Trump’s top economic advisor, Gary Cohn, on Wednesday announced his resignation after he lost over Trump’s plans for heavy steel and aluminium import tariffs.

Expected to be finalised in a few weeks, Cohn’s resignation will be a great loss for the President’s advisory team, especially at a time when the economy is in its growing stage at the bus stock markets and are experiencing surge of instability.

President Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning, saying that they ‘will choose wisely’ on the new Chief Economic Advisor for his state. As per reports, the director of the White House Peter Navarro, and conservative commentator Larry Kudlow are being considered as the ‘top two candidates’ for the post.

Trump’s announcement followed an intense debate within the White House, said an official, between Cohn and Navarro and their respective allies.

The White House officials, making a comment on the whole resignation issue, said that the tariff dispute was not the sole reason for Cohn’s decision to resign. One of the official said, “His biggest mission was on the tax cut bill, which he got passed.”

The resignation matter was on cards since some weeks but the official announcement was made on Wednesday by the President as well as Cohn, a White House official said. After the news, the US dollar weakened and dipped one per cent.

Paul Mortimer-Lee, chief market economist at BNP Paribas corporate and investment banking, said, “One of the adults in the room has left. The markets will worry that this is a signal that we will definitely go ahead with these tariffs. Cohn was seen as a moderating influence, and now he’s gone. The president’s ear is going to be dominated by louder and louder protectionist voices.”

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Monica de Bolle, senior at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said, “It looks like Gary Cohn has been completely unsuccessful in trying to stop the steel and aluminium tariffs. The chances of us having a trade war have now increased dramatically. … The economic nationalists now certainly have the upper hand.”

In a statement issued by the White House, Cohn said, “It has been an honor to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular, the passage of historic tax reform. I am grateful to the president for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the administration great success in the future.”

Cohn, a democrat aged 57, served at the White House for more than a year and achieved an easy and early rapport with the President. He proved influential in the administration’s decisions in last April of not to label China a currency manipulator and to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement instead of terminating it. 

White House
First Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 08:12 AM
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