Top Economic Adviser, Gary Cohn, of President Donald Trump’s administration yesterday resigned in protest against the announcement made by President Donald Trump on steep tariffs on imported steel, aluminum and European cars.
Cohn surprised everyone on Tuesday when he tendered his letter of resignation to president Trump, which was later announced by the white house.
Newsmen gathered that Gary Cohn advised against a firm tariffs targeted at steel, aluminum and European cars import; but president Trump ignored his advice and went ahead to announce the stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. This however some people believed was the reason for his immediate resignation.
In his statement, 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 said.
In his own statement, Trump said, “Gary has been my chief economic advisor and did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again.
“He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.”
Asian stocks opened lower Wednesday amid fears the American president would embark on a more protectionist drive, despite US stocks finishing higher partly due to expectations for a detente in the Korean peninsula but with investors still struggling to discern whether Trump would follow through on restrictive trade measures.
The White House downplayed the idea Cohn resigned over more aggressive trade policies, but only moments before the announcement, Trump showed no signs of backing down even in the face of opposition from his own party.
Speaking to reporters, Trump said he was elected to protect American workers and industries that had been harmed by years of unfair trade policies.
“Our country has been taken advantage of by everybody. By everybody. And we cannot let that happen any longer,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.
But Trump’s aggressive plan to punish abusers by imposing 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, against friend and foe alike, angered US trading partners.
It also startled US automakers and firms that rely on those metals and the free flow of trade.
Even administration officials were caught off guard by the announcement late last week, since the legal review had not been completed.
Reports of Cohn’s likely resignation began to circulate almost immediately.
It appears the 57-year-old former Goldman Sachs executive was drowned out by a decidedly more protectionist team including trade adviser Peter Navarro and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Trump, in a tweet, said he would “soon” appoint a replacement.
“Many people wanting the job – will choose wisely!” he wrote.