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- Trump officials praised Walmart for its announcement on Thursday that the retail giant was planning to increase wages and give longtime employees bonuses in part as a result the new Republican tax law.
- Walmart also closed 63 Sam’s Club stores on Thursday, likely leading to significant layoffs at those stores.
Trump administration officials on Thursday praised Walmart for increasing wages and delivering bonuses to employees, even as the company laid off thousands of other workers and closed stores on the same day.
Walmart had announced early in the day that it would increase its minimum wage for employees to $11 an hour and give longtime employees a $1,000 bonus in part because of the recently passed Republican tax law.
White House officials quickly jumped on the news from Walmart to highlight the positive benefits of the tax law.
“Huge news! Truly amazing and inspiring to witness the tax cuts lifting millions of hardworking Americans up,” tweeted White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also praised the Walmart decision during the White House’s daily press briefing.
“I’d also like to highlight the announcement this morning from Walmart, we want to thank them,” said Mnuchin. “They will be increasing their minimum wages, issuing bonuses, and expanding family benefits for over a million employees. Walmart is the latest company to make such an announcement as a direct result of the Tax Cuts act.”
While the White House praised the move by the company, there was little mention of a second announcement from the company.
Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson reported that Walmart is closing 63 Sam’s Club stores, likely leading to thousands of employee layoffs. There are about 150 employees at each location that is set to be closed.
When asked about the closures, Sanders declined to comment on the layoffs and said the White House was “excited” about the wage increases.
The White House and Treasury Department did not immediately respond to requests for further comment.