There will obviously be another media cycle decrying crisis at the White House with the announcement that National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn is departing.
However, for those who follow the administration closely, this was a foregone conclusion; the MAGAnomic “America First” policy has a specifically timed exit ramp for just this purpose.
We have previously outlined the relationship between President Trump and Gary Cohn HERE – Along with what each of them brings to the perspectives of the other. In addition, the larger Trump economic policy always held two distinct aspects:
- The financial aspects – taxes and monetary policy stability; or perhaps more succinctly the Wall Street aspect.
- The trade, jobs and manufacturing aspects – trade policy; or perhaps more succinctly the Main Street aspect.
The implementation of Trump’s economic policy involves those two elements: Taxes and Trade. Inside the Trump administration there are economic policy advocates who agree on the tax element, but disagree on the trade element. Economic adviser Gary Cohn is an example.
The Wall Street crowd align with Trump on taxes, but fundamentally split from him on trade. The combined Trump policy is part of the larger America-First initiative, but some within the economic team only agree with half of the aggregate policy. This is why there is a split.
As previously noted, with the tax reform proposals in place (the basis for domestic economic investment), the focus of Trump’s economic platform turns specifically to Main Street. This policy split is what makes President Trump so stunningly unique amid politicians. POTUS Trump splits from the traditional republican economic outlook on matters surrounding Main Street’s best interests.
Inside this dynamic, and the goal to restore a ‘balanced’ U.S. economy, is where the importance of Gary Cohn diminishes and the role of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross elevates. Secretary Ross is the person creating the fulcrum in the balanced economy reset.
Their focus now is laser targeted policy toward Main Street. Consider this ‘Phase-2’
We are now inside phase-2 of the total policy execution. Secretary Ross outlined how the ‘America First’ economic policy and phase-2 platform engages with the global community during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January.
The corporate media, even the financial media, never highlighted the severity expressed by Wilbur Ross at Davos – because the Main Street policy he was explaining is directly against their interests. During the Davos World Economic Forum, Ross conveyed to the larger multinational interests an explanation of the high-level shift in U.S. trade policy, and reinforced the Trump Doctrine of economic nationalism.
Secretary Ross told the panel: “The Chinese for quite a little while have been superb at free-trade rhetoric and even more superb at highly protectionist behavior. Every time the U.S. does anything to deal with a problem, we are called protectionist.”
“Protectionists” the opposition was predicted to shout by Ross in January. Well, cue the audio visual demonstrations over the past few days surrounding Steel and Aluminum tariffs.
Also at Davos in January, after three decades of President Trump outlining his trade views, secretary Ross accurately said President Donald Trump has a forceful leadership style that some people don’t like. “We don’t intend to abrogate leadership, but leadership is different from being a sucker and being a patsy. We would like to be the leader in making the world trade system more fair and more equitable to all participants” Ross said.
Secretary Ross also challenged the panelists, including World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo and Cargill Inc. CEO David MacLennan, to name a nation that’s less protectionist than the U.S. – – – He got no responses.
Not taking any guff, Secretary Ross then cited a study of more than 20 products that showed China had higher tariffs on all but two items on the list, and Europe all but four. The panel sat jaw-agape at Ross’s delivery of irrefutable facts to the audience. “Before we get into sticks and stones about free trade we ought to first talk about, is there really free trade or is it a unicorn in the garden,” said Ross. Again, no response from the panel.
Despite the tariffs Trump imposed in January on solar panels and washing machines; and despite the proposition of Steel and Aluminum tariffs, China is planning for a “bumper year” for new trade deals, according to China’s own Commerce Ministry.
For the past 30+ years, DC politicians have been selling out the U.S. economy to corporate interests, Wall Street and multinationals. President Trump is simply saying “no more”, and finally putting a stop to it. They hate him. He doesn’t care.