Cohn's exit followed a series of high-profile staff departures and, for him personally, a dispute with Trump over the president's plan to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. More than 100 House GOP members, including Rep. Kevin Brady, the Texas chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, signed a letter [text, pdf] in opposition Wednesday, arguing "tariffs are taxes that make US businesses less competitive and USA consumers poorer" and urging the president to reconsider the idea of such broad tariffs to avoid unintended consequences.
Trump has justified the import tariffs in the name of national security, but he said on Thursday that additional countries could be made exempt, and he left the door open to negotiations.
Trump's visit comes days after the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state challenging sanctuary policies.
Trump signed proclamations at a ceremony at the White House while surrounded by steelworkers. He slammed the European Union this week for imposing higher tariffs on auto imports than the United States.
"They say, if your baseball lands in his yard", he stage-whispered, "he'll come out and make you his chief economic adviser!" "I would strongly urge the president to reconsider the impact these tariffs will have on future ag exports, the five million manufacturing and related jobs that use steel or aluminum in addition to the added costs to consumers and American manufacturers who will pay higher prices for inputs, goods and services".
Everyone had a job down at the steel mill and a couple of rugrats - that's the ideal vision of the nuclear American family. "I disagree with this action and fear its unintended consequences", he said.
Meanwhile, the European Union said it hoped, like Canada and Mexico, to be exempted from US tariffs, or that it could iron out difference with the U.S.at the World Trade Organization. The President said, "Steel is steel".
Nations around the globe that were not excluded from the tariffs reacted with dismay.
It said it wanted details from Saturday's talks with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Brussels but that it did not expect the meeting to resolve all the problems.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, meanwhile, called the announcement a "step forward" and said Canadian officials had exerted tremendous efforts to get the exemption. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono called the decision "extremely regrettable", predicting it could have a major impact on the economy and the relationship between the US and Japan, as well as the global economy. In the National Security Strategy, the US relationship with the European Union is cited only once in the context of "ensuring fair and reciprocal trade practices", and "eliminating barriers to growth".
The administration clarified this week that Canada, where the USA gets most of its steel, would be exempt, as would Mexico. The talks are expected to resume early next month.
Heisdorffer said it was disappointing that, despite meeting with officials at the commerce and treasury departments as well as the U.S. Trade Representative and the White House, ASA's input was not taken into account.
Traders work on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange in November.