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Council of Economic Advisers chairman Kevin Hassett. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Kevin Hassett, who has served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers since September 2017, will soon step down from his post, President Trump announced Sunday.

"Kevin Hassett, who has done such a great job for me and the Administration, will be leaving shortly. His very talented replacement will be named as soon as I get back to the U.S. I want to thank Kevin for all he has done — he is a true friend!"
— Trump tweet

Why it matters: Hassett is leaving in the middle of a multifront trade war launched by the U.S. The former scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute is the latest in a long line of senior White House officials to leave the administration since Trump took office in January 2017.

The big picture: Hassett said he considers the post to be a 2-year position and his departure has nothing to do with the trade war, according to the Washington Post. "The trade story and the departure story are completely different stories,” he said, per the Post.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
54 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.