President Donald Trump is expected to name Tomas Philipson, a former University of Chicago economist and specialist in health care policy, as his next chief economist in the coming days, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Philipson, who already serves one of the three members of the Council of Economic Advisers, would replace Kevin Hassett as chairman of that council.
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He will need to be confirmed by the Senate.
Philipson would take over the CEA at a critical time for the economy: Trump is threatening to raise tariffs on Mexico and wrangling with China in ongoing negotiations, tensions that could threaten the near-record-long economic expansion.
Philipson, born in Sweden, has a PhD from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Trump announced last weekend that Hassett would be leaving, in a tweet calling him a “true friend.”
Hassett was a strong proponent of the president’s tax cuts, but has also had a career of extolling the virtues of free trade and immigration.