Top economic adviser Gary Cohn has quit over the president’s trade policy. The resignation comes after President Trump’s insistence on proposed steel and aluminum tariffs.
“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,” Cohn said in a statement.
“I am grateful to the president for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the administration great success in the future,” he added.
A Democrat who was drafted by the Trump administration, Cohn is a Goldman Sachs alum and a proponent of globalization and free trade.
“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,” President Trump said in a statement.
“He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people,” the president added.
The Trump proposal includes a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, but would presumably exempt the NAFTA nations of Canada and Mexico.
“As the President just announced, Canada is a very significant partner that buys steel and sells steel. To extent that we’re successful in renegotiating NAFTA those tariffs won’t apply to Mexico and Canada. But we look forward to the president releasing the specific details and working with other people,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said.
Overall, Cohn was a poor ideological fit for the Trump White House.
“It’s sad, obviously, because he has got tremendous talent,” Barry Bennett, a senior advisor to Trump’s 2016 campaign, told The Hill. “But he was probably never really a good fit, ideologically. And in the end, ideology matters.”
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