Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid
Photo: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Economist, television pundit, and informal adviser to US President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign Larry Kudlow will soon be announced as the top economic adviser in the White House, sources say.

CNBC was first to report the decision, which has been rumored since Gary Cohn resigned from the position several weeks ago.

Kudlow is largely aligned with Cohn on economic policy issues, including trade, the debate over which became a flashpoint for Cohn’s relationship with the president. The CNBC contributor has been vocal in his agreement with Cohn that tariffs, such as those Trump is about to impose on steel and aluminum imports, are bad for the economy.

Trump hinted at the move on Tuesday.

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

Kudlow will likely be seen by free-trade advocates as a “grown-up” in the West Wing, a moniker bestowed on Cohn, in contrast to hot-headed trade hawks such as US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and trade adviser Peter Navarro.