Gary Cohn, the White House’s top economic adviser, announced Tuesday (March 6) that he was leaving the administration amid a major internal clash over President Trump’s sharp and sudden pivot toward protectionist trade policies.
The Washington Post reported that the departure of Cohn, a former president of Goldman Sachs who had been an interlocutor between the Trump administration and the business community, is the latest jolt to a White House that has been especially tumultuous in recent weeks and unable to retain some of its top talent.
His resignation as National Economic Council director will leave the White House without a financial heavyweight who business executives and foreign leaders believed had served as a counter to Trump’s protectionist impulses and as a moderating force in other areas.
Cohn plans to stay in his job for several weeks and continue to push back on Trump’s planned tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which have threatened to touch off a global trade war, said a person who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Cohn’s plans.
But Cohn’s influence on the president has clearly eroded. In the past week, Trump has said he will impose tariffs that will hit imports from Canada, Germany, Mexico, Britain, Turkey, South Korea and a range of other countries, threatening to escalate the penalties if any nation dares to retaliate.
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