A growing force of free trade globalists are working inside and outside the White House to stop President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs, while White House trade advisor Peter Navarro is trying to promote them.
“It’s Peter Navarro, Wilbur Ross, and President Trump against the world,” a source with close ties to the White House told Breitbart News.
Cohn lost the battle against Navarro after Trump announced the tariffs in spite of his advice. But Cohn is determined not to lose the war, working to appeal to the president’s deal-making nature to reduce the impact of the tariffs.
On Monday night, news leaked to Politico of Cohn’s effort to get corporate opponents of the president’s proposed tariffs a meeting with the president, frustrated that Trump was not listening to his advice.
House Speaker Paul Ryan signaled concern about the tariffs in phone calls with the president but said the substance of the conversations will remain private.
“We’ve had multiple conversations about this, he knows our view. Every now and then we’re just going to have a different approach as to how we tackle these problems, but it should be acknowledged there is a problem that needs to be addressed here,” Ryan said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Ryan called for action “more surgical and more targeted,” than universal tariffs, pointing to the problem of countries like China “dumping” subsidized steel and aluminum on the American market.
Another Washington opponent of the tariffs is former Bush budget director Josh Bolten — now a high-powered and well-paid lobbyist as CEO of Business Roundtable.
Bolten has mobilized top CEOs who supported Trump’s tax cuts against his proposed trade measures.
“Business Roundtable CEOs are making the case directly to President Trump and his trade and economic policy advisors,” a spokeswoman told FOX Business.
Trump allies are astounded at how brazenly Cohn is working to undermine the president’s trade agenda since it was a big reason why he won the election.
As the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, Cohn is well-sourced with high-powered business allies and knows how to wage war behind the scenes, using the media and the business community. Navarro and Ross have tried to counter critics by dismissing the hysterics on cable news.
Outside Trump allies believe White House aides who were upset by the tariff announcement last week leaked suggestions that it was the result of an unstable president frustrated with media coverage of his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Cohn appears comfortable in the administration, despite rumors that he plans to leave after the successful push for tax cuts. Trump, however, has told advisers that Cohn will leave if the tariffs are enacted, according to Bloomberg News.
A White House spokesperson declined a request for comment from Breitbart News.
Trump supporters like economist Larry Kudlow are urging Cohn to stay and fight.
“I have to tell you, personally, I am urging Gary Cohn to stay and fight for another day. He’s done a great job,” Kudlow told CNBC. Kudlow opposes the president’s positions on tariffs, but admits that Trump is determined to make changes on trade.
Global leaders have also called to express their concerns about Trump’s proposed tariffs. A Downing Street spokesperson noted that Prime Minister Theresa May “raised our deep concern” about the proposed tariffs on Sunday. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Trump to discuss his concerns about trade.
Despite the forces mobilizing against Trump, he remains resolute to move forward on tariffs.
“We’re not backing down,” Trump told reporters on Monday.