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WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Donald Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn resigned on Tuesday after the U.S. president said he would push ahead with punitive tariffs on steel and aluminum imports which some critics have dubbed the first shot in a global trade war. Cohn did not spell out the reasons for his resignation, although he was regarded as a bulwark of economic orthodoxy in an administration whose protectionist policies have sparked alarm among U.S. legislators and in governments across the world. Despite a rising tide of criticism from Republican lawmakers about the proposed 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports, Trump said he would stick to his guns and again lashed out at what he described as a rigged trading system that has bled American companies and jobs. Given the size of America’s trade deficit, Trump said the country would not be a loser in any fight. “When we’re behind on every single country, trade wars aren’t so bad,” he told reporters at the White House at a news conference on Tuesday with the Swedish prime minister. Critics worry that the measures risk igniting a trade war and damaging the U.S. economy. A prominent Republican critic of the proposal, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, returned to the attack on Tuesday, saying the proposed duties were too broad. Although the measure is designed to hit China, its main impact will be on U.S. allies like Canada. Ryan, whose home state of Wisconsin could be hit by proposed counter-tariffs from the European Union, has consistently opposed the tariffs and called for “more surgical and more targeted measures.” The White House has said the measures will protect industries and jobs from unfair competition and that across-the- board tariffs are needed because countries like China use third countries for shipping steel to the United States, disguising its origin. Opponents charge that the tariffs could destroy more jobs than they create and risk alienating U.S. allies, while American consumers will end up paying more for a range of products from cans of beer to cars. “There is a lot of concern among Republican senators that this could sort of metastasize into sort of a larger trade war, and many of our members are discussing with the administration just how broad, how sweeping this might be,” Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said in his first comments on the issue. Financial markets have rallied off their lows on expectations the measures may be watered down in the face of an intense lobbying effort from leading Republicans. On Tuesday, Representative Mark Meadows, the head of the Freedom Caucus, a staunchly conservative Republican grouping in Congress, raised concerns about the impact of the tariffs on U.S. manufacturing and agriculture. Agriculture is a potential target for retaliatory tariffs from China if Trump pushes ahead. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks after the Senate Republican weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 6, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua RobertsMeadows, who spoke to reporters after

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