Democrat Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, told CNBC on Friday that while he doesn't agree with Trump's stance on things like NAFTA, he thinks the tariffs make sense in this case.
That's because China doesn't play by the rules, he said in an interview with "Closing Bell."
"I think of those Ohio steelworkers in the Midwest that have been suffering," Richardson said.
"I"m going to give the president my support on this one because I think we send a signal to China that needs to be sent, one that we expect you to stop playing around with intellectual property and dumping steel."
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, applauded the tariffs as well.
"This welcome action is long overdue for shuttered steel plants across Ohio and steelworkers who live in fear that their jobs will be the next victims of Chinese cheating," he said in a statement Thursday.
After Trump's announcement, Chinese officials urged the U.S. to support global trade.
Hua Chunying, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said if other countries followed in the steps of the U.S. it "will definitely inflict serious impacts to the international trade order."
"We urge the U.S. to be restrained in taking trade protection measures, follow the multilateral trade rule, and positively contribute to the global economic and trade order," he said.
— CNBC's Evelyn Cheng contributed to this story.