In an interview with CNN, United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard said that Trump has been a large disappointment to those in the labor movement, especially to those who supported him.
Trump promised a policy of protectionism to help support American industry. In terms of actual trade policy, Trump's policies have been no different in line than previous U.S. Presidents, albeit more chaotic.
"We're terribly disappointed and hugely frustrated," said Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers union, who was at Trump's side when he announced the moves. "There's been no action that has done anything to protect and defend American jobs. ... In some cases we're worse off now than we were then."
Trump promised to enact trade barriers on foreign imports. Instead, he has done nothing. A major pillar of Trump's campaign for president was that he'd enact protectionist policies to help American industry.
While "literally 180 degrees away" from Trump's position on trade issues, in the words of one administration official, Cohn and Mnuchin have managed to curb Trump's instincts for erecting trade barriers, particularly on the question of steel and aluminum tariffs.
Trump has come to listen almost exclusively to Sec. of Treasury Steve Mnuchin and White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn (an ex-President of Goldman Sachs) in regards to trade policy.
A source told CNN that this is not because Trump actually agrees with them (he might). He follows their instruction simply because they are more aggressive in making their points known to him.
"Mnuchin and Cohn just kind of take over some of these discussions ... and the President gravitates toward people who make their arguments more aggressively."