Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Economy | By

White House Confirms Kudlow Appointed National Economic Council Director to Replace Cohn

White House Confirms Kudlow Appointed National Economic Council Director to Replace Cohn

President Donald Trump has chosen Larry Kudlow to be his top economic aide, elevating the influence of a long-time fixture on the CNBC business news network who previously served in the Reagan administration and has emerged as a leading evangelist for tax cuts and a smaller government.

Trump announced on Twitter on Thursday that conservative economic commentator Larry Kudlow was appointed to the position of director of the National Economic Council.

In the 1980s, he served as White House budget director under former president Ronald Reagan and is still a champion of that era's conservative, supply-side economics, which calls for cutting taxes to boost growth - an ideology that the Trump administration has emphatically embraced. "It didn't happen", he said.

White House spokesman Sarah Sanders also confirmed that Mr Trump had offered him the position.

Mr Stephen Massocca, senior vice-president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco, said: "Mr Larry Kudlow is very much a free trader".

"This shows (Mr Trump) wants to hear the other side of the argument as well". Cohn is leaving after a dispute over Trump's decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Kudlow, 70, has informally advised the Trump administration in the past and he has spoken with the president "at some length in recent days", so that he is ready "to hit the ground running".

"He hated Trump's tariffs, though he eventually said something positive about sanctions on China for dumping steel. I must say, as somebody who doesn't like tariffs, I think China has earned a tough response", he said, adding that he hoped a coalition of countries could act against China on trade. He was also one of the authors of an article that argued such tariffs were akin to sanctions on the United States itself. He echoed his future boss' views that the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico needed fixing and said the European Union had "very bad protectionist policies". Kudlow added, in the interview with CNBC, that he did not like blanket tariffs.

Kudlow spoke to media outlets earlier on Tuesday, saying he had been offered the job.

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