The resignation of National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, the top White House economic policy adviser has caused quite a stir in the business and congressional community. The mainstream media has taken this as a sign the demise of the current Trump led economic boom will definitely happen. While others (like us) are glad to see a man who wasn’t putting America first lose the President’s ear.
Breitbart News notes six times that Cohn attempted to derail the President’s “America First” agenda. Those reveal why Cohn’s days were numbered from the very beginning unless Trump abandoned his promise to those who voted for him.
While speaking for the White House to the press on Air Force One Cohn said, “Coal doesn’t even make that much sense anymore as a feedstock.”
According to Breitbart, “Cohn and Mnuchin — the West Wing’s biggest proponents of free trade — tried to get Trump to water down his actions against China and on trade, in general.”
Cohn pushed hard for the U.S. to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement. Despite his advice, Trump decided to withdraw from the Paris agreement.
Gary Cohn was all in for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump promised he would withdraw from it and did.
At that time Breitbart wrote, “Top White House advisers like Gary Cohn, though, was on the other side of the issue, praising the ‘historic trade pact’ in an op-ed that was published in a foreign publication.”
A few months ago Reuters reported:
In a White House marked by infighting, top economic aide Gary Cohn, a Democrat and former Goldman Sachs banker, is muscling aside some of President Donald Trump’s hard-right advisers to push more moderate, business-friendly economic policies.
In another place Reuters reported:
Gary Cohn is leading a last-ditch effort against President Donald Trump’s plan to put modest tariffs on imported steel and aluminum …Cohn is attempting to organize a “summit” of business leaders opposed to the tariffs, according to a person familiar with the matter.
In the end, Trump stood by his call for the tariffs. From the Oval Office, he said, “we’re not backing down” on the plan to put a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum.
Though the President praised Cohn at a White House news conference it is more than likely that he is glad to see the former Goldman Sachs executive go. One of Trump’s main campaign promises was to make “America Great Again” by putting “America First”. Trump has long believed that a trade war would not damage the economy over the long-term and may actually be a good thing for the American worker.
But many who thought that Trump would moderate his views on tariffs don’t agree and defend Cohn.
Talk of tariffs and possible trade wars has made for some strange bedfellows. Cohn is a democrat yet Paul Ryan was solidly on his side. Even Ted Cruz, who has generally aligned himself on policy with the president is opposed to Trump’s plan.
J.P. Morgan chief Jamie Dimon said of the news that Gary Cohn’s was departing from the Trump administration,
“I think it is terrible. I think Gary is a very strong proponent of economic growth and is quite bright and knowledgeable,” Dimon said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
“I think he was good to have in the White House, not as the press writes to defend Wall Street. He knows how an economy runs, he knows what needs to be done to make it healthier for all Americans, and he’s not there. It’s unfortunate.”
Dimon used Cohn’s departure as an opportunity to criticize President Trump’s plan for a 10 percent tariff on aluminum and 25 percent tariff on steel. He told Bloomberg, “I think tariff is the wrong way to go about it. Of course, there may be more, there may be retaliation, it kind of opens up the whole Pandora’s Box of additional problems.”
Unlike the resignation of Communications Director Hope Hicks, Cohn’s departure is directly related to a policy decision that only the President could make. Over Cohn’s vocal dissent, Trump proved himself to be the populist he is.
Many, and perhaps Cohn himself, believed that he could moderate Trump’s commitment to trade equity and tariffs.
Gary Cohn’s resignation shows that Trump is serious about implementing these tariffs. This despite objections from the business community and fellow Republicans.
Cohn made the mistake of thinking that he could change the president’s mind but he was wrong.
~ American Liberty Report