Larry Kudlow, a well-known conservative media pundit, would be the new chief economic advisor to US President Donald Trump, the White House said on Thursday, days after Gary Cohn resigned after losing his fight against stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Kudlow, 70, would replace Cohn, 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.
Kudlow, who served as Trump’s informal economic adviser during the 2016 campaign, is a well-known conservative voice.
“Larry Kudlow was offered, and accepted, the position of Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.
The National Economic Council director advises the US president on economic issues and works to implement policy goals.
“We will work to have an orderly transition and will keep everyone posted on the timing of him officially assuming the role,” Sanders said.
Kudlow served in the Regan administration when he helped craft the economic policy.
But the television 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.
Trump acknowledged his disagreement on tariffs with Kudlow in a conversation with reporters on Tuesday, 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.”
Top American lawmakers welcomed Kudlow’s appointment to the crucial administration position.
Senator Lindsay Graham called the appointment “a home run choice” and praised Kudlow for his advocacy of “pro-growth” economic policies.
“He will be a steady hand in helping implement President Trump’s pro-growth agenda and will provide insightful advice backed by a deep understanding of how the American economy works,” Graham said.
Senator David Perdue said Kudlow would help Trump in making the US more competitive with the rest of the world.
“We need more smart, business-minded people who understand that this president is trying to make the US more competitive with the rest of the world and provide much needed economic relief after many years of failed fiscal policies,” he said.
Democratic Congresswoman Ted W Lieu was less enthused by Kudlow’s appointment, saying she was “appalled” that the person who will now drive the US’ economic policy has argued that war is good for business.
“Our service members are brave patriots, not equity on a shareholder report. In an administration that has already been fraught with disastrous policy decisions, I worry about someone who thinks this way having the president’s ear,” said Lieu.
“Entering into conflict has to be a last resort — and should never be evaluated primarily on its economic merits. Mr. Kudlow’s fringe ideas don’t deserve a place in the White House,” she said.
Independent Women’s Forum’s Director of Policy, Hadley Heath Manning said Kudlow’s economic expertise will again be an asset to the nation, just as it was when he served under Ronald Reagan.
Image: Larry Kudlow, a well-known conservative media pundit would replace Gary Cohn, 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. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters