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.
儘管投資者和企業利益集團發出種種警告，但特朗普政府表示，將堅決推進對進口鋼鐵和鋁徵收關稅，這些措施是由科恩的對手們倡導的，包括白宮貿易顧問彼得•納瓦羅(Peter Navarro)和商務部長威爾伯•羅斯(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•姆努欽(Steven Mnuchin)昨日表示：「我們肯定要徵收這些關稅，我們將非常迅速地推出細則。」這位財長還對福克斯商業頻道(Fox Business)表示，將有一個讓企業尋求總統豁免的過程。
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資者驚慌，歐洲股市在反彈前遭遇大幅拋售；恒生指數(Hang Seng)收跌1%。標準普爾500指數(S&P 500)早盤下跌達1%，隨後反彈。
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.
華盛頓最大商業遊說團體——美國商會(US Chamber of Commerce)表示，科恩宣布離職後，該組織「非常擔心貿易戰爆發可能性上升的前景」。身為高盛(Goldman Sachs)前總裁的科恩此前強烈反對這些關稅措施。
「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」.
商業圓桌會議(Business Roundtable)主席喬舒亞•博爾頓(Joshua Bolten)表示，科恩計劃離職是「特朗普總統和美國人民的真正損失」。
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.
企業界猛烈抨擊的同時，美國鋼鐵公司(US Steel)力挺總統的政策，稱其在伊利諾伊州的Granite City Works將再度開工，並表示此舉受到了承諾的關稅的推動。
Mr Trump』s tariffs appeal to his Rust Belt base but are not popular nationally. A Quinnipiac University poll found
特朗普的關稅政策對其「銹帶」(Rust Belt)基礎選民有吸引力，但在全國範圍不受歡迎。昆尼皮亞克大學(Quinnipiac University)進行的一項民調顯示，50%的選民表示反對，近三分之二的受訪者不認同他關於貿易戰「是件好事」的主張。
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?」