Views of Trump's trade adviser carry the day at White House

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"There's no question. You know what?"

Stressing the need for "flexibility" while protecting the country's national security, Trump also said that other countries could negotiate bilaterally with the United States to get exemptions and reductions in their tariff rates.

Cohn announced his resignation last week after losing a battle over the president's long-standing desire to impose large tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

It was Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs president, who persuaded President Donald Trump to make a conciliatory speech on trade at the Davos Forum in January, while hinting that the United States might rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Mr Liddell joined the administration in January 2017 and now serves as the White House's director of strategic initiatives. A longtime proponent of free trade, he believed the decision could jeopardize economic growth.

Trump predicted Cohn was "going to go out and make another couple of hundred million".

Worries about a potential trade war after Cohn said he was resigning on Tuesday initially sent the S&P 500 down almost 1 percent but the three major USA stock indexes closed higher on Thursday after Trump appeared to soften his stance on tariffs.

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"We can think of no one who can fill this seat that will give Wall Street as much comfort as Cohn - particularly with the protectionists on the rise and tariffs top of the agenda". He has allowed other countries easy means by which to exempt themselves. And even as Trump approved the tariffs, 11 partners in the Asia-Pacific were in Santiago, Chile, to sign a multilateral trade deal embraced by president Barack Obama but rejected by Trump. The order leaves out Canada and Mexico but applies to every other nation, according to the White House. He plans a last-minute campaign visit this weekend to save a GOP district Trump won by 20 percentage points in 2016. As a candidate, he campaigned on a promise to bring back American jobs and place American interests first on the global stage, a sharp departure from the policies of his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.

"This is Gary Cohn's last meeting of the Cabinet".

Trump's sudden decision to curb steel and aluminum imports on national security grounds triggered Cohn's decision to resign in protest. The bill slashed taxes for 90 percent of working Americans and reduced the tax burden for businesses across the board.

It is the latest in a series of high-profile departures from Trump's team.

Britain, meanwhile, said it would "work with European Union partners to consider the scope for exemptions outlined today", saying "tariffs are not the right way" to tackle the problem of global over-capacity in steel. No Democrats voted for the measure. A onetime silver trader who eventually became the president of Goldman Sachs, Cohn was a lifelong Democrat known for having progressive social views.

"Gary Cohn deserves credit for serving his country in a first-class way".

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