Gary Cohn: Key Trump economic policy adviser resigns

Gary Cohn: Key Trump economic policy adviser resigns
From BBC - March 6, 2018

US President Donald Trump's top economic adviser Gary Cohn is resigning, the White House has said.

It is the latest in a series of high-profile departures from President Trump's team.

There has been speculation that Mr Cohn, a supporter of free trade, was angered by Mr Trump's plans to impose tariffs on aluminium and steel imports.

In a statement released by the White House, Mr Cohn said it had been "an honour to serve my country".

The 57-year-old former president of the Goldman Sachs bank helped Mr Trump push through his sweeping tax reforms late last year.

However, the two were not believed to be close.

In August 2017, Mr Cohn criticised Mr Trump over his reaction to a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, saying the administration "can and must do better". He was reported to have drafted a resignation letter after the event.

"It has been an honour to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform," Mr Cohn said in his statement.

"I am grateful to the president for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the administration great success in the future."

Does this herald a new direction?

Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

Gary Cohn was a bit of a stranger in a strange land. He was a Democrat in a Republican White House; an economic globalist working for a president who campaigned on economic nationalism. Now, it seems, Donald Trump's protectionist bent has pushed the top administration economic adviser to the exit.

This was not an unexpected development. By many accounts, there had been a contentious White House fight over whether to impose sweeping sanctions on US steel and aluminium imports - a tug-of-war that was settled, precipitously, by the president himself last week.

There were the rumours that Mr Cohn was only sticking around to see last year's tax bill over the finish line, after his extreme discomfort following the president's warm words about some of the white nationalist marchers involved in violent clashes in Charlottesville last August.

Mr Cohn was reportedly viewed by many Trump loyalists in the White House as an unwelcome interloper. Some on the outside, particularly in the financial world, welcomed him as a moderating influence - along with son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka.


Continue reading at BBC »