WASHINGTON — Gary Cohn, President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, plans to resign in the coming weeks.
The New York Times first reported on Tuesday of his plans to depart.
Cohn would be the latest high-profile departure from the White House, and it comes amid reported disagreements over Trump’s plans to impose protective tariffs on steel and aluminum. Cohn led the National Economic Council and was a key conduit for corporate executives and the administration, including telecommunications and media.
In a statement, Trump called Cohn a “rare talent,” and said that he did a “superb job driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again.”
Cohn said, “It has been an honor to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform. I am grateful to the President for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the Administration great success in the future.”
White House officials said that Trump and Cohn had been discussing his departure for several weeks.
Cohn supported free-trade policies, a contrast to other advisors who favored protective tariffs and other actions that Trump promised during his presidential campaign. There had been some speculation that he would depart after the passage of the tax reform legislation at the end of last year.
A number of prominent Republicans oppose Trump’s plan for tariffs, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, whose spokeswoman issued a statement on Monday warning of a “trade war.”
Trump has defended the tariff, as a way to save industries against unfair practices by other countries.
Cohn is the former president and COO of Goldman Sachs. He resigned that post to join the administration last year.
Trump tweeted that he “will be making a decision soon on the appointment of new Chief Economic Advisor. Many people wanting the job – will choose wisely!”