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Trump taps Acosta to be labor secretary

AP file photo

R. Alexander Acosta talks to reporters during a news conference in Miami on Jan. 16, 2008.

Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) — U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday nominated former National Labor Relations Board member R. Alexander Acosta to serve as U.S. secretary of labor, one day after Trump’s original choice withdrew.

Acosta is dean of the Florida International University College of Law in Miami and is Trump’s first Hispanic nominee.

Acosta has had a decades-long public service career, serving in three presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed positions, and is expected to face a smooth confirmation process.

“Mr. Acosta’s nomination is off to a good start because he’s already been confirmed by the Senate three times,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that will be vetting the nomination.

Acosta was appointed to the National Labor Relations Board by former Republican President George W. Bush, who also appointed him to be assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. He was then appointed to be U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, where he went after high-profile defendants such as Jack Abramoff and UBS, resulting in the Swiss bank paying more than $750 million in fines for a tax-avoidance scheme.

The choice of Acosta, a traditional Republican conservative, is seen by some as a sign that Trump was forced to give up a more aggressive policy on worker issues.

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