AFL-CIO lauds Trump's tariffs

The nation's largest federation of unions on Thursday praised President TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE's plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, even as GOP lawmakers in Congress and U.S. trade partners condemned the proposal. 

"For years, we have called attention to the predatory practices of some steel exporting countries. Such practices hurt working people and cheat companies that produce in the U.S. We applaud the administration's efforts today to fix this problem," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement. 

Trumka has signaled the organization's willingness to work with Trump on labor issues in the past, but has criticized the president for not following through on his long-standing promises to revitalize trade deals. 

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In a plan that Trump says he will formally announce next week, the U.S. will place tariffs of 25 percent on imports of steel and 10 percent on aluminum, a policy aimed at protecting domestic industries from foreign competition that has already earned threats of retaliation from Canada and the European Union. 

"This is a great first step toward addressing trade cheating, and we will continue to work with the administration on rewriting trade rules to benefit working people," Trumka continued. 

Trump also received sharp rebukes for the plan by Republicans in Congress, warning of the tax burden such tariffs might impose on working Americans.