14:18 GMT15 April 2021
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    Ex-Goldman Sachs investment banker Gary Cohn will tender his resignation at the White House where he has served as director of the National Economic Council under US President Donald Trump.

    Once considered one of the most influential, reasonable and business-savvy voices in the White House, Cohn will depart the administration over the president's decision to slap import taxes on all aluminum and steel products entering the US, the New York Times reports. Cohn has firmly opposed import tariffs. 

    "It has been an honor to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people," the adviser said in a statement about his resignation Tuesday. 

    Cohn lost the battle to keep Trump from imposing the tariffs last Thursday when Trump announced a flat 25 percent tax on all steel imports and a 10 percent tax on aluminum imports. A source close to Cohn told Politico last week that the tariff issue was one the adviser felt "very passionate about." Another person close to Cohn added that they wouldn't be surprised to see Cohn leave the White House over the tariff argument. 

    ​Cohn previously came close to calling it quits in the wake of some of Trump's comments about the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August. While Trump's statement that there were "very fine people on both sides" of what the deadly clashes between neo-Nazis and white supremacists with counter-protesters in Virginia did not move Cohn to resign, tariffs appear to have finally pushed him over the edge. 

    Bloomberg reported Tuesday morning that Trump told advisers he expected Cohn to exit if he followed through with the tariff policy.

    Cohn's pending departure marks yet another twist in a White House saga that increasingly resembles Trump's old reality show, "The Apprentice," where he uttered his trademark slogan "you're fired" to so many TV contestants. Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Hope Hicks, Michael Flynn and Tom Price have all held stints in the White House at very high levels before exiting for one reason or another. Cohn's exit marks another high-profile departure. 

    About an hour before news of Cohn's resignation broke, Trump bragged about how "everybody wants to work in the White House" after mentioning news reports that said nobody wants to work in the White House. 


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