Canadians should be worried about Gary Cohn’s resignation as U.S. President Donald Trump’s top economic advisor, according to an American political historian.
“We should be very concerned,” Allan Lichtman, a professor of history at American University, told BNN in an interview Wednesday. “Donald Trump lives in a fantasy world – this notion that he is surrounded by the best and the brightest is absolute nonsense.”
Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive and registered Democrat, quit his post on Tuesday amid Trump’s plan to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum, which Trump tied to NAFTA talks by dangling the prospect of exemptions if a “new & fair” North American Free Trade Agreement can be reached.
Lichtman said Canada should be “extremely worried” about the departure of Cohn, whose views on trade countered many of those in the White House, in the midst of NAFTA renegotiations.
“This notion that a trade deficit or imports is necessarily a bad thing is another fantasy Donald Trump has conjured up.”
“Truly, what Donald Trump is doing with protectionism is firing the wrong gun at the wrong target,” he added.
Trump took to Twitter late Tuesday to say he will appoint a new chief economic advisor soon. The likelihood the U.S. president will select someone who will challenge his views is “quite minimal,” according to Lichtman.
“He doesn’t really have in the White House people of stature who really present to him alternative policy viewpoints,” he said.
“Donald Trump likes people who will support him, who will put him in the spotlight. Donald Trump cares most of all about himself and angulation.”