Imports Tax: Disagree, Trump Economic Advisor Resigns

New Shake in the White House: Gary Cohn, Donald Trump's chief economic advisor, announced his resignation Tuesday (March 6th) after the US president's controversial decision to tax steel and aluminum imports. A departure that pushed Wednesday the Asian stock markets in the red at the opening.

This former number two of the bank Goldman Sachs, wind up against the policy of the real estate mogul on this issue, joined the impressive list Mr. Trump's close associates have already left the ship.

The reaction of the markets was not long in coming, as the American president seems determined to unfold an isolationist policy that sows consternation across the board. the world and scares part of his own camp.

In China, stock markets have opened in decline, undermined by fears of trade war. The Tokyo Stock Exchange also started in the red, the announcement of the departure of Mr. Cohn taking the second plan of a historic summit between the two Koreas soon.

"Will soon make a decision on the appointment of a new chief economic advisor Many people want this job – will choose wisely! ", Donald Trump said on Twitter in the evening.

Openly disagree

This is not the first time Gary Cohn , 57, was openly disagreeing with Trump. In August 2017, he criticized the latter for his reaction to the racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, but had not taken the step of resigning.

"It was an honor to serve my country and to place pro-growth policies favorable to the Americans, with in particular the vote of a historical tax reform ", indicated in a terse statement, who directed the influential National Economic Council (NEC).

In a tweet Early in the morning, Mr. Trump challenged the idea of ​​a chaotic operation of the White House, assuring that the cascade of departures within his team was only the normal operation of the West Wing. "There is no Chaos, just a fantastic energy," he said, in an astonishing formula.

"Gary (…) did an amazing job putting our program in place, helping to get things done to a historic tax reform and to liberate once again the American economy ", he stressed after the departure of his close collaborator, without mentioning their disagreements of substance.

Situation tense

M. Trump threatened last week to impose tariffs of 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum on imports to the United States to protect these sectors deemed crucial for the national security. Receiving Tuesday at the White House Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, he attacked virulently Europeans who "make it virtually impossible for us to do business with them". "The European Union has not treated us well, and it's a very, very unfair trade situation," he said, adding that "

This new salvo from Donald Trump, who said a few days ago to the amazement of economists and historians that trade wars were "good and easy to win," should not help decisively. Most of Washington's trading partners have made it clear that they do not intend to sit idle.

The European Union has said it is preparing retaliatory measures against US imports including Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Levi's jeans and bourbon whiskey. On Tuesday, Mexico, which is part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Alena) with the United States and Canada, threatened to tax the "politically sensitive" American goods.

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde also said Wednesday that a "trade war", after the threats of Donald Trump to heavily tax imports of steel and aluminum to the States United States, would be "formidable" for global growth. "If international trade were challenged by measures of this type, it would be a transmission channel of a decline in growth, a decline in trade and it would be formidable," said Ms. Lagarde on RTL waves. "In a trade war that would be fueled by a reciprocal increase in tariffs, no one wins," said the IMF boss.

The main target of US taxes is China but several analysts have pointed out that this country does not accounted for only 2% of US steel imports. Trump challenged the assessment, saying part of the imports went through other countries. "We can see that a country that does not even have a blast furnace sends us 3% of steel and it comes from China," he said without citing which one.

But his inclinations to impose taxes arouse strong reluctance within its own Republican party, majority in Congress, traditionally in favor of free trade. Elected from Wisconsin, home of Harley-Davidson, House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday urged Donald Trump to give up his decision and to prefer "targeted" measures to avoid a risky trade war.

Admitting that 'There was clearly' dumping 'abuse, Mr Ryan told the press that the protectionist measures the White House wanted could lead to' collateral damage '.

(With AFP)