Trump's economic adviser quits over tariffs


Always improvisational, the president exercised his penchant for going it alone in a big way this week: first, by ordering sweeping tariffs opposed by foreign allies and by many in his own party, then hours later delivering the stunning news that he'll meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The other is Lawrence Kudlow, an economic analyst at CNBC who has criticized those same tariffs.

Administration officials said Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, and conservative commentator Larry Kudlow were the "top two candidates" for the job.

The tax cuts have already inspired more than 400 companies, including Apple, Jet Blue, and American Express, to issue cash bonuses, pay increases, and other tax-cut based rewards to over 4 million workers, according to Americans for Tax Reform. "It makes me feel good that he sees in those people the same thing I see in those people". "But everybody in the world is talking about what's happening in the United States".

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.

On Liddell's appointment to the administration, Trump said in a statement that Liddell's skills were "exactly what is needed to effect substantial change, including system wide improvement to the performance of the government". They also say that Trump, who has attacked trade policies since the rise of Japan in 1980s, say he is discounting the benefits of free trade, including increased jobs in other sectors of the economy. Trump recently declared that "trade wars are good, and easy to win".

Cohn's departure has raised concerns about who within the White House will seek to temper Trump's nationalistic instincts.

Being forced to rule on the Trump tariffs "would put the WTO in a tough spot", DeBusk says.

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On the campaign trail, Trump suggested Wall Street was getting "away with murder".

A successful president needs allies, and Trump has had them so far.

When he initially decided on the plan, he reportedly said that the 25 percent tariff on foreign steel and 10 percent tariff on foreign aluminum would apply to all countries, because otherwise, everyone would ask for an exemption.

While aides said Trump hopes to sign the required paperwork by the end of this week, aides continue to suggest that there may be changes of exemptions, a sign of possible flexibility within the nationalist agenda.

Trump has hinted that he has accepted Navarro's position, since he can use the steel tariffs as a negotiating ploy to gain concessions from Canada and Mexico - two of the four largest steel exporters to the United States - on the renegotiation of the North America Free Trade Agreement.

But if the WTO affirms Trump's justification for tariffs, it could encourage other countries to follow the US example: They could use national security as a pretext for tariffs of their own.