Trump plans to name Larry Kudlow his top economic advisor, replacing Gary Cohn: Sources

  • President Trump will name economist and CNBC senior contributor Larry Kudlow his top economic advisor, sources say.
  • He would replace Gary Cohn as National Economic Council director.
  • Kudlow is a free trade advocate who may disagree with some of Trump’s protectionist views.

President Donald Trump plans to name Larry Kudlow as his top economic advisor, sources told CNBC.

Trump could announce his decision to choose Kudlow as his National Economic Council director as soon as Thursday. The president offered the economist and senior CNBC contributor the job on Tuesday night, and Kudlow accepted, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC.

Kudlow, 70, would replace Gary Cohn, who resigned last week after losing his fight against tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Kudlow advocates for free trade and generally opposes tariffs.

When Cohn left, Kudlow expressed his disappointment with the move. On Wednesday, he told the Associated Press he opposed Trump’s tariffs but is “in accord with his policies.”

On Tuesday, the president said he would welcome disagreement from Kudlow if he chose him for the post.

“We don’t agree on everything, but in this case I think that’s good,” Trump said. “I want to have different opinions. We agree on most. He now has come around to believing in tariffs as a negotiating point.”

Trump won the presidency partly on his promises to shred or renegotiate U.S. trade deals and crack down on trade practices he deems unfair. He argued that the North American Free Trade Agreement, in particular, sapped manufacturing jobs from the United States.

The National Economic Council director advises the president on economic issues and works to implement policy goals. Cohn helped to shepherd the Republican tax overhaul, Trump’s signature achievement in office so far, through its passage in December.

Kudlow also supported the tax bill.

Kudlow helped to craft economic policy during the Reagan administration. He informally advised Trump on taxes and other economic issues during his 2016 run for president.

WATCH: Challenges for incoming NEC Chair Larry Kudlow


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