Trump says goodbye to 'globalist' economic adviser Gary Cohn

Cheryl Sanders
March 13, 2018

Other economic analysts, including Cohn, have said Trump is ignoring the role that automation has played in eliminating many manufacturing jobs in recent decades. Japan's top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the move could harm the global trading system and the entire world economy and said Tokyo would urge the United States to give the country an exemption.

By offering countries a way to escape the tariffs, Trump might have eased the risk of a destructive trade war. For decades, both men have accused China of unfair trade practices that have displaced American workers and hobbled the USA manufacturing base.

Trump himself said Mexico and Canada could avoid steel tariffs if they made concessions during re-negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

But imposing broad tariffs on steel and aluminum imports had the odd effect of hurting producers in friendly countries the most, since China is not a major exporter of steel and aluminum to the USA, compared with Canada, South Korea, Brazil and Mexico. So Trump agreed to indefinitely exempt Canada and Mexico, another ally and metals supplier.

Cohn, who announced his resignation last week, has reportedly favored his deputy, Shahira Knight, to take over as director of the National Economic Council, but officials say that Knight is uninterested in the position.

So far, Trump's presidency has been good for Goldman and other major banks.

The US leader had also added Australia to a list of likely carve-outs, as a "great country" and "long term partner".

Cohn is among the most senior officials to resign to date.

Top trading partners the European Union and Brazil also launched broadsides against the tariffs, which are worth billions of dollars. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, floated the possibility of legislation to limit Trump's ability to impose tariffs or to require congressional approval, though there's no indication any such plan could garner the necessary veto-proof margin for passage. Major producer Brazil immediately vowed to take "all necessary steps" in order to "protect its rights and interests" in response to the United States move.

Cohn was labeled as a "globalist" by more conservative members of the Trump administration.

Like Stephen Miller on immigration, Navarro has now become the face of Trump's trade plan.

Worries about a potential trade war after Cohn said he was resigning on Tuesday initially sent the S&P 500 down almost 1 percent but the three major US stock indexes closed higher on Thursday after Trump appeared to soften his stance on tariffs. He waited as tariff decision deadlines set by Ross ticked closer, and the White House turned its attention back to trade after deciding to table the divisive issue while it worked on health care and taxes. "And we've had 30 years since the mid-'80s, both in New Zealand and here in the USA and globally, of basically free markets being driving the whole thinking, the whole rhetoric around governing". A longtime proponent of free trade, he believed the decision could jeopardize economic growth.

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