— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on March 7, Wednesday.
For Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs president and free trade advocate Cohn, whose departure date will come in a few weeks, decided to quit after Trump announced he would impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
Cohn's decision to leave is unlikely to squash reports of chaos within the White House ranks. Actually, this administration seems to be facing a staff shakeup in perpetuity. So here's a look at officials who've resigned, or been fired, in the slightly more than a year Trump has been in office.
Take a look at the WALL behind me, Hope Hicks, Trump's close aide and communications director, quit last week, and other senior figures to have left include Trump's former chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and former chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Besides, Press Secretary Sean Spicer, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Anthony Scaramucci, Communications Director and Health Secretary Tom Price have all left the White House team.
Tariffs and hostility to free trade are among the few issues on which Trump has been consistent since he came to the office. Once Mr Trump made clear he was forging ahead, Cohn, as his statement suggests, knew that his scope to enact pro-growth policies had shrunk. How markets, which saw Cohn as a stabilizing force inside the White House, will react remains unclear; last August they plummeted on the threat he might leave.
[Jeffrey Kleintop, Charles Schwab] "It cerntainly does send the signal, that the Trump administration is about to get more seriuos in its actions.
And the markets hate anything to do with protectionism, global trade critical to global profits, so thats going to be a big barometer for how stocks behave - doesnt look good for tomorrow's open."
"Doesn't look good for tomorrow's open" - that was Jeffrey Kleintop of Charles Schwab said during an earlier interview with CNBC this morning. But already, the news of Cohn's resignation have sent ripples through global financial markets. During the after-hour trading on Tuesday, ETFs were plummeting across the board, with the S&P 500 ETF dropping by around 1%. Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to sharp losses this moring, with Dow Jones industrial average futures sliding 300 points, down around 1.5%.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.