White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett will step down in the wake of news that the U.S. will impose tariffs on goods from Mexico as an effort to stem illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump announced via twitter Sunday. However, despite the timing, Hassett said on June 3 that his departure from the Trump administration did not have a connection to President Trump's decision to threaten tariffs on Mexico over immigration. (See related article for full details.)
In an interview on CNBC Monday morning, Hassett said his decision to leave had "been in the works for a little while," noting that his nearly two-year tenure was pretty standard for the role, Politico reported.
Although Hassett supported the president's tax cuts, he has been known to tout about the benefits of free trade. Hassett on Monday defended the tariffs, asserting that they were clearly a successful pressure tactic because Mexican officials had come to the negotiating table, Politico said.