Washington, Mar 14 (PTI) US President Donald Trump will likely name Larry Kudlow, a conservative media analyst, as his top economic advisor, according to a media report today.
Kudlow, would replace Gary Cohen, a former Goldman Sachs executive who quit the post after his differences with Trump on imposing a 25 per cent tariff on import of steel and 10 per cent on aluminum.
According to media reports, Trump offered Kudlow the job of the head of the White House National Economic Council yesterday. A informal advisor to Trump since his 2016 election campaign days, Kudlow accepted the offer.
Kudlow, 70, is a senior contributor to CNBC news channel, which first reported the news. He served in the Regan administration where he learnt craft the economic policy.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said she had no personnel announcements to make, though she confirmed that Trump spoke to Kudlow yesterday.
Kudlow’s ascension, however, does not solve the disagreement inside the administration over Trump’s tariff decision. The cable news personality has been outspoken in opposition to the tariff plan and wrote an op-ed for CNBC earlier this month that detailed his disagreements, CNN reported.
“In other words, steel and aluminum may win in the short term, but steel and aluminum users and consumers will lose,” Kudlow wrote. “In fact, tariff hikes are really tax hikes.” Trump acknowledged his disagreement on tariffs with Kudlow in a conversation yesterday, but said he welcomed the difference of opinion.
“I’m looking at Larry Kudlow very strongly. I’ve known him a long time. We don’t agree on everything but in this case I think that’s good. I want to have a divergent opinion — we agree on most,” Trump said.
He added that Kudlow has “come around to believing in tariffs as a negotiating point.” Peter Navarro, Trump’s top trade adviser and a fervent proponent of the President’s tariffs, was seen as the force behind Cohn’s eventual departure. The two butted heads over the decision and internally Trump’s decision was seen as a win for Navarro and a damaging loss for Cohn, the report said.
Wary of the narrative that Navarro and Kudlow will clash in the same way that Navarro and Cohn did, a source close to Navarro said the President’s trade adviser is “very happy” with Kudlow’s selection.
The source was quoted as saying by the report that the two men have been friends for years, dating back to the time they spent on CNBC sets together as economic analysts.
While the two men differ on trade, the source said Navarro and Kudlow agree on nearly every other economic issue.
But Navarro publicly criticized Kudlow’s views on trade in an interview with CNN earlier this month.
Trump, according to a source familiar with the President’s conversations, began telling friends and advisers on Monday that Kudlow was his pick to replace Cohn, the report said.
Trump spoke to Kudlow multiple times over the past week, a separate person familiar with the matter said, but the economist was not officially offered the job until Tuesday.
The selection quickly received plaudits from Capitol Hill Republicans who have long known Kudlow as a media analyst and regular at Republican conferences.
“Couldn’t be more pleased,” said Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican. “He is somebody that House Republicans are extraordinarily comfortable with.”
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.