Gary Cohn to Resign

Wednesday, March 7, 2018Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 10.40.17 AM

Good Wednesday morning,
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
  • Gary D. Cohn, President Trump’s top economic adviser, plans to resign. His decision to leave came after a struggle over Mr. Trump’s plan to impose large tarrifs on steel and aluminum imports.

  • An adviser to the United Arab Emirates with ties to current and former aides to Mr. Trump is cooperating with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and gave testimony last week to a grand jury.

  • The Justice Department is suing California over immigration laws that oppose Mr. Trump’s agenda, saying state laws make it impossible for federal immigration officials to deport criminals born outside of the United States.
  • The Veterans Affairs secretary, David J. Shulkincontinues to thwart a conservative push to drive him out, saying the White House backs his making changes at the department, including the removal of any staff members who did not support him.

  • The Senate took a key step toward loosening rules imposed after the 2008 financial crisis as lawmakers voted to begin debate on legislation that would roll back restrictions on large parts of the banking industry.
— The First Draft Team
News Analysis

An Important Voice for Free Trade Proponents Goes Silent

President Trump on Tuesday at the White House. He has roiled markets and international relations by declaring that he would impose tariffs of 25 percent on foreign steel and 10 percent on foreign aluminum.

President Trump on Tuesday at the White House. He has roiled markets and international relations by declaring that he would impose tariffs of 25 percent on foreign steel and 10 percent on foreign aluminum. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Gary D. Cohn is a Democrat, but his resignation as director of the White House National Economic Council on Tuesday actually underlined the fundamental divide between President Trump and his fellow Republicans as the president seeks to raise barriers to foreign trade.
From his perch in the West Wing, Mr. Cohn in effect served as a proxy for the business wing of the Republican Party as it fought what may be a losing battle against new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. His departure deprives free trade proponents of perhaps their strongest voice inside Mr. Trump’s inner circle.
Trade has always been the iron curtain that divided Mr. Trump and establishment Republicans, with the president arguing that other countries have run roughshod over the United States when it came to the exchange of goods and services while most Republican leaders in Washington maintain that in fact lower barriers have helped keep the United States as the world’s leading economic powerhouse.
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