Yeah, it’s a possibility.
While Trump is raging and huffing about punishing the world outside of the U.S. – even allies – with expansive tariffs on steel and aluminum, others in the administration are hoping a ray of sanity breaks in, at some point.
Enter economic adviser Gary Cohn.
According to Bloomberg:
Cohn has mounted a last-ditch effort, along with other administration officials and some Republican lawmakers, to head off steep tariffs that threaten to unleash a global trade war.
Cohn has been summoning executives from U.S. companies that depend on the metals to meet this week with Trump to try to blunt or halt the tariffs, according to those familiar with the meeting planning. It’s unclear whether Cohn’s moves would be enough to change the president’s mind.
And Trump has been telling others that he feels Cohn will bail his position as economic adviser if he pushed forward with the tariff plan.
Cohn, one of Trump’s Goldman-Sachs picks, is the director of the National Economic Council, and as a bona fide rich guy, probably has a healthier portion of Trump’s ear than most.
Because, as Trump has so often reminded us, he prefers the rich and affluent.
Cohn’s urgings are in conflict with the other rich guy pushing Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Ross gave a stunning tutorial on aluminum cans and soup last week.
Still, losing Cohn with barely over a year into the administration would be just another black eye on the administration, that has seen more early turnover than any other administration in recent memory.
Possibly in our history.
That’s what you get with a chaos candidate: Chaos.
Trump doesn’t see it that way, however, and says there are more he wants to weed out (presumably through ridicule and harassment).
“People will always come & go, and I want strong dialogue before making a final decision,” Trump said in a Twitter posting. “I still have some people that I want to change (always seeking perfection). There is no Chaos, only great Energy!”
By “perfection,” he means personal loyalty, so don’t get confused.
We could know as early as Friday if Trump intends to push forward with his tariff plans, though some reports are that he’s softening his stance, a bit, and could cut some sort of break for Canada and Mexico.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has likewise suggested that the president narrow his focus and be more judicious with the tariffs, than using the blunt hammer of tariffs-for-all.
But let’s face it. This is Trump. He’ll do whatever the last person he spoke to tells him to do, so if Cohn and Ryan want to avoid this catastrophe, they’d better make it a point to get in his ear and stay in his ear, right up to the point of his announcement. There are others who have a vested interest in sinking free trade, and they are all over this.