Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Cohn's departure increases chances of global trade war

Cohn's departure increases chances of global trade war

Any administration staffed on the one side by National Economic Council head Gary Cohn, alumnus of Goldman Sachs and personification of the establishment's beliefs in globalization, and on the other side by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and White House adviser Peter Navarro, personification of a belief in a new economic nationalism, was always headed for a family feud. "When he says 'why do we have had people from shithole countries, Africa and Haiti coming here to United States of America why can't they be from Norway?' let me see, some people are black other people are white - that's racist", Gutiérrez told the paper. He waited as tariff decision deadlines set by Secretary Ross ticked closer, and the White House turned its attention back to trade after deciding to table the divisive issue while it worked on healthcare and taxes.

An on-the-spot decision with global ramifications, Trump's agreement to sit down with Kim came after a meeting with a South Korean delegation and took some of his top aides by surprise.

The Washington Post reported last week that Trump plans to visit the San Diego area to view the eight, 30-foot-tall border wall prototypes that have erected in Otay Mesa.

Cohn - a strong supporter of free trade - said he would leave the administration after being unable to prevent the president from imposing tariffs.

Since his election in May, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea has been something of an odd man out in Washington's "maximum pressure" campaign on North Korea, calling again and again for talks as U.S. President Donald Trump was threatening "fire and fury".

Cohn is among the most senior officials to resign to date.

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Cohn is the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the Trump administration.

Congressional pressure instead might force Trump to revise his initial proposal to impose a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum.

"We're going to be very flexible", Trump said. It was vintage Trump: Act first; think later. But his aides, mindful of the difficulties they have had attracting people from outside the White House, have been looking internally.

Navarro had limited contact with Trump world until early in the campaign, when Kushner was drawn to his book, "Death by China", while researching China policy.

In recent days, Trump told advisers that his experience in business gave him an edge in deciding what to do on tariffs.

Still, Trump continues to hold that — as he said at the 2016 Republican Convention — he "alone" can fix things.

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