Jun 2, 2017

Gary Cohn: "We're not America Alone"

Kathy Willens

President Trump's economic advisor Gary Cohn rejected the criticism Friday that withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris accord is an "America Alone" policy.

"We're not America alone. We're part of a world, an important part of the world," Cohn told CNBC. "World leaders look to us. I was with the president at the G7 meeting in Italy last week. ... I saw the interactions he was having with the other G7 leaders. We have a very important seat at the the table. The other world leaders are always involved with us and we're involved with them. And we're going to continue to have that position in the world."

As for Goldman Sach's CEO first-ever tweet arguing that leaving the Paris deal was a bad idea? Cohn said he was "caught off guard" when he started tweeting that last night.

Other takeaways:

  • On the jobs number coming in below the year's average: "We're not worried about slowing job growth. .. the fact that the [unemployment] number is down by 1% since inauguration day, we're clearly bringing people back into the job force."
  • On the president taking credit for a million jobs this year: "The federal government data was not out yesterday when the president made his speech. So, as you know, there's just different ways of looking at data."
  • On concerns the debt ceiling won't be raised by August: "If we need to get things attached to get [the bill] through, we'll attach things. At the end of the day, Congress is going to raise the debt ceiling because they have no other choice."
  • Is he interested in the Fed Chair job? "No. I have a great job right now. Serving the president has been a dream come true. I come into work every day and I'm very excited to be in the White House."
  • Flip-flopping on coal: "I said [coal] is not the most efficient feed stock today because of the price... that could change very quickly. We all have been around markets long enough to know that predicting the price of commodities is very difficult in any long-term scenario."

Go deeper

Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 34 mins ago - Health

Wisconsin may be the start of the 2020 election wars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wisconsin voters braving lines in face masks — after a last-minute Supreme Court ruling against extending the absentee deadline — could foreshadow a nationwide legal struggle over how to conduct elections during the coronavirus outbreak, election experts say.

Why it matters: "It's a harbinger of what's to come in the next skirmishes in the voting wars" from now through November, Richard Hasen, a professor and national election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, told Axios.