President Donald Trump is expected to name Tomas Philipson, a former University of Chicago professor and health economics expert, as the next chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to replace outgoing Kevin Hassett, Politico reported on Friday.
Philipson already serves as a member of the three-person council and would replace Hassett as the chairman of the panel. His nomination would have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Trump said on Sunday that Hassett would be leaving the White House “shortly.” Hassett later told CNBC that his departure from the post had been in the works for some time and was not linked to Trump’s recent threat to impose tariffs on Mexico.
If approved for the position, Philipson would take over at a critical time for the economy. Trump is threatening to impose tariffs on Mexico unless it takes action to curb migrant flows to the southern U.S. border, and he is engaged in a trade dispute with China that threatens U.S. economic growth.
New U.S. jobs figures on Friday showed job growth slowed sharply in May and wages rose less than expected, raising concerns that the loss of momentum in economic activity could be spreading to the labor markets. That could put pressure on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates this year.