The White House’s top economic adviser announced he would resign on Tuesday, departing the administration during a major clash over President Trump’s pivot toward protectionist trade policies.
White House National Economic Council Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs, still plans to stay in his job for several weeks, a person briefed on his plans said, and he will likely continue to try to push back on the trade war Trump has launched by promising global tariffs on steel and aluminum.
But his departure leaves the White House lacking an economic heavyweight that business executives and foreign leaders believed had served as a counter to Trump’s protectionist views. …
In many ways, Cohn’s NEC was one of the most stable parts of the White House, avoiding the scandals and revolving-door image that the National Security Council and other offices endured. But Trump and the president had an on-again, off-again relationship, with relations becoming chilly after Cohn criticized Trump’s response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville
Cohn’s departure rattled a number of business executives around the country, many of whom saw the Wall Street veteran as a free market capitalist who would speak out against those who wanted to pick fights with global trading partners.
Never have so few done so much damage in such a short amount of time.