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)

Hope Hicks, a close adviser to Donald Trump, resigns

The cascade of departures to the White House continues: Hope Hicks, a close adviser to Donald Trump, announced Wednesday, February 28, his resignation. The 29-year-old, who had joined the real estate mogul's campaign very early and without any political experience, had been the director of communications since September.

Discrete in the media – she refused systematically requests for interviews – but influential behind the scenes, this former model, who had worked for Ivanka Trump in New York, had the ear of the president who has – noticeable – ever issued the slightest reservation about him. "I have no words to express my gratitude to President Trump," she said without further details on the reasons for her sudden departure, just over a year after the government came to power.

This resignation comes after the young woman's in-camera hearing in Congress in the context of the Russian case that poisons Donald Trump's presidency. According to the American press, she admitted that her work at the White House had sometimes pushed her to say "innocent lies". But she would have said she had never lied when she was questioned about the Russian affair.

Sarah Sanders, spokeswoman for the US executive, assured that there was no connection between these two events. The exact date of Hope Hicks' departure has not been fixed, but it should be "in the coming weeks," according to the executive. The post of director of communication is traditionally less exposed than that of spokesman, which is the real face of the daily life of the American executive. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, 35, has held it since Sean Spicer's departure in July.

Significant Turnover

Sign of Major Rotation on the Trump Team, Hope Hicks Was the Fourth Person to Be Occupied this function. The latest, Anthony Scaramucci, a colorful character, had made a lightning break in this role.

His name is added to the very long list of senior officials or close advisers to Mr. Trump who decided to leave or were thanked: Tom Price, Minister of Health, Steve Bannon (former strategic advisor), Reince Priebus (former Secretary General of the White House), Sean Spicer (former spokesperson) or Michael Flynn (former National Security Advisor)

"Hope is outstanding and did a great job," said the US president commenting on his resignation. "She is smart, fine, really good," he added, saying he was confident that he would work with her again in the future. With him, it is all the hard core of the Trump administration who paid a very strong tribute to the young woman.

"Hope Hicks is loved and admired by all who know her", has outbid Ivanka Trump on Twitter. "I love you and I will miss you," said Kellyanne Conway, a close adviser to the president. As for Sarah Sanders, she tweeted in the evening that "no one can fill the void that Hope Hicks leaves behind". John Kelly, Secretary General of the White House, insisted on his maturity. "She has served her country with a lot of class," he added.

His name appeared in one of the latest scandals that rocked the White House: the departure of Rob Porter, another advisor to Mr. Trump, accused by his ex-women of physical assault and abuse psychological. Hope Hicks having a romantic relationship with Rob Porter, many observers had questioned his role in the initial response of the White House, which had praised the latter even while he was accused of serious facts by his former wives.

(With AFP)

A Senior US Diplomat Resigns

The third highest US government diplomat on Thursday announced his resignation after nearly 35 years of career. He is the latest of a number of senior career officials who have left the State Department since Donald Trump served in the White House more than a year ago.

"My decision is personal and driven by the desire to take care of the family, and set a new direction for my life, "said Thomas Shannon in a statement.

Foreign Minister Rex Tillerson told the Associated Press he asked Shannon not to resign and acknowledge Shannon's departure would be very harmful.

" The experience of thirty-five years is not something that can be replaced overnight , "he said. Tillerson praised Shannon's extensive knowledge of American diplomacy and added, "there will always be a place for Tom Shannon at the State Department."

In spite of Tillerson's words of praise, Shannon's departure will likely spark new criticism from government opponents that Trump and Tillerson are dismantling the ranks of the State Department officials, leading to a decline in morale among officials.

Deputy Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Steven Goldstein denies Shannon's departure regarding the low morale amid budget cuts and severe reorganization at the State Department, where Shannon was in charge.

Goldstein said Shannon had hoped to spend more time with her father after her recent mother's death and Shannon told Tillerson would keep working during the first year of Tillerson's transition, and that one year ends on Thursday. [my/ii]

Senator Al Franken resigns amid allegations of sexual harassment

US Senator Al Franken announced his resignation amid a storm of criticism stemming from sexual harassment charges. He was the second Democrat to announce his resignation over immoral charges.

"Today I announce that I will retreat as a member of the American Senate," said Franken, who has represented Minnesota since 2009, when Thursday spoke in the Senate room.

More than ten fellow Democrat senators have called for Franken to resign, after a media report quoting a former congressional staffer as saying, Franken had been forced to kiss him in 2006. [jm]