US President Trump announced that the economist and television presenter Kudlow will be the next head of the National Economic Council. Kudlow has been seen as favoring free trade, writing an article suggesting trade tariffs were a regressive tax hurting low income Americans (the February 2017 UBS Chief Economist's Comment says the same thing).
Kudlow's trade view is less relevant than Kudlow's ability to influence US President Trump. The president has considerable personal authority on trade matters. Kudlow also seemingly retreated from free trade by suggesting that the steel and aluminum taxes were fine during the course of a last hurrah interview on CNBC.
Import and export prices are due out of the US today. This data is increasingly important. The question is whether exporters to the US will lower their dollar prices to accommodate the new taxes (treating the tax rise like a weaker dollar), or whether US customers will be expected to pay the tax.
There is little of interest from the Eurozone – final French and Irish consumer price data is unlikely to motivate markets. The dispute between the UK and Russia may attract attention. The possibility of broader economic and capital flow sanctions is a threat.