The resignation of Donald Trump’s top economic adviser sent a shudder through markets and prompted alarm among corporate leaders yesterday as business braced for the White House to pursue more protectionist measures.
Leading corporate lobbyists said the departure of Gary Cohn, a centrist force in the White House policy maelstrom, could endanger the economic gains flowing from recent corporate tax cuts and undercut US leadership if it led to more aggressive actions on trade.
Despite the warnings from investors and corporate interests, the administration said it would press on with tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, which are championed by Cohn rivals Peter Navarro, White House trade adviser, and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross.
尽管投资者和企业利益集团发出种种警告，但特朗普政府表示，将坚决推进对进口钢铁和铝征收关税，这些措施是由科恩的对手们倡导的，包括白宫贸易顾问彼得•纳瓦罗(Peter Navarro)和商务部长威尔伯•罗斯(Wilbur Ross)。
“We are definitely going to end up with these tariffs and we are going to roll this out very, very quickly,” Steven Mnuchin said yesterday. The Treasury secretary also told Fox Business there would be a process for businesses to seek exceptions from the president.
史蒂文•姆努钦(Steven Mnuchin)昨日表示：“我们肯定要征收这些关税，我们将非常迅速地推出细则。”这位财长还对福克斯商业频道(Fox Business)表示，将有一个让企业寻求总统豁免的过程。
Mr Cohn’s announcement rattled equity investors, with European markets selling off sharply before recovering; the Hang Seng closed down 1 per cent. The S&P 500 fell as much as 1 per cent in the morning before recovering.
科恩的宣布令股市投资者惊慌，欧洲股市在反弹前遭遇大幅抛售；恒生指数(Hang Seng)收跌1%。标准普尔500指数(S&P 500)早盘下跌达1%，随后反弹。
Washington’s biggest business lobby, the US Chamber of Commerce, said it was “very concerned about the increasing prospects of a trade war” following the announced departure of Mr Cohn, a former president of Goldman Sachs who vigorously opposed the tariff measures.
华盛顿最大商业游说团体——美国商会(US Chamber of Commerce)表示，科恩宣布离职后，该组织“非常担心贸易战爆发可能性上升的前景”。身为高盛(Goldman Sachs)前总裁的科恩此前强烈反对这些关税措施。
“Alienating our strongest global allies amid high-stakes trade negotiations is not the path to long-term American leadership,” said chamber president Thomas Donohue, urging the administration to refrain from global tariffs that would harm US manufacturers.
Joshua Bolten, Business Roundtable president, said Mr Cohn’s planned departure was “a real loss for President Trump and the American people”.
商业圆桌会议(Business Roundtable)主席乔舒亚•博尔顿(Joshua Bolten)表示，科恩计划离职是“特朗普总统和美国人民的真正损失”。
The corporate broadsides came at the same time that US Steel delivered a boost to the president, saying it would reopen idled operations at its Granite City Works in Illinois, saying the move was prompted by the promised tariffs.
企业界猛烈抨击的同时，美国钢铁公司(US Steel)力挺总统的政策，称其在伊利诺伊州的Granite City Works将再度开工，并表示此举受到了承诺的关税的推动。
Mr Trump’s tariffs appeal to his Rust Belt base but are not popular nationally. A Quinnipiac University poll found
特朗普的关税政策对其“锈带”(Rust Belt)基础选民有吸引力，但在全国范围不受欢迎。昆尼皮亚克大学(Quinnipiac University)进行的一项民调显示，50%的选民表示反对，近三分之二的受访者不认同他关于贸易战“是件好事”的主张。
50 per cent of voters were opposed and almost two-thirds disagreed with his assertion that trade wars were “good”.
“This is a dangerous time for trade,” said Steve Moore, a former Trump campaign adviser. He said Mr Cohn was not irreplaceable and Mr Trump’s decision on tariffs had been predictable given his campaign pledges. But he added: “The economy is firing on all cylinders, so why disrupt it with this policy?”