"We're going to have sensible relations with our allies", he told CNBC, claiming that Mr Trump's policy was well "thought through".
As a matter of fact, Chung Eui-yong and Suh Hoon, the special envoys to the US, were not initially scheduled to meet with President Trump on Thursday. Trump's actions are unlikely to save jobs in either steel or aluminum, surely not in the long run, and they will cost jobs in all the companies that use either product in manufacturing goods.
Departures are normal after a President's second year, but the circumstances of Mr. Cohn's leave-taking as top economic adviser are anything but normal after only 14 months.
President Donald Trump's sharp turn toward protectionism over the last week has been a victory for advisers such as Peter Navarro and Wilbur Ross, who had been pushing the president to slap tariffs on foreign goods. "He's been terrific. He may be a globalist, but I still like him", Trump says at a Cabinet meeting.
White House officials briefed members of the press on some of the details of the plan hours before briefing members of Congress, which had some lawmakers asking reporters for information about the plan yesterday afternoon.
US President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House
Mr. Trump appears willing to temper his move to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports by exempting, at least temporarily, imports from Canada and Mexico. If we impose tariffs to protect our domestic producers in raw materials, we're likely to see the countries affected impose their own on what we sell them, whether its Florida oranges, Iowa corn, Kansas beef, MI tractors or Washington aircraft.
More importantly, Trump could ask for quotas and tariffs on a wider range of Chinese products, including furniture, auto parts and electronics, if the United States government concludes that China has engaged in unfair intellectual property and industrial policy practices.
President Trump's departing economic adviser "may be a globalist", but the commander-in-chief doesn't hold it against him.
Losing policy disputes comes with the job, but the particulars of this loss revealed more about Trump's increasingly self-damaging style of managing his senior officials.
Navarro, excluded from Trump's trip to Asia last fall, was sometimes seen walking the West Wing halls at night. Other congressional leaders have called for measures that would directly target China rather than imposing a blanket steel tariff, which has been pushed by Navarro.