Gary Cohn Will Resign as Trump’s Chief Economic Adviser

President Trump’s threat to impose steep tariffs was reportedly the breaking point.

Chris Kleponis/ZUMA

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Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, is leaving the White House.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the former Goldman Sachs executive is planning to resign in the coming weeks, concluding months of speculation over how long Cohn would remain in the role. His departure came after Trump announced his plan to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports—an announcement that marked a major loss for Cohn, who had been strongly opposed to the idea.

According to the Times

The officials insisted there was no single factor behind the departure of Mr. Cohn, who heads the National Economic Council. But his decision to leave came after he seemed poised to lose an internal struggle amid a Wild West-style process over Mr. Trump’s plan to impose large tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The proposal triggered international outrage and threats from leading trade partners to retaliate with their own tariffs on American goods. Despite fierce opposition to the plan, Trump dismissed the dangers of potential trade wars, even calling them “easy” to win.

But rumors of Cohn’s departure have been months in the making. Cohn reportedly drafted a resignation letter last August after Trump failed to forcefully denounce white nationalists in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

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