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Nippon Steel defends US Steel acquisition after Biden opposition

Nippon Steel defended its potential acquisition of U.S. Steel on Friday, a day after President Biden pushed back against the deal.

“Our transaction delivers clear benefits to U.S. Steel, union workers, the broader American steel industry, and American national security,” the Japanese company said in a statement.

“Through increased financial investment and the contribution of our advanced technologies to U.S. Steel, Nippon Steel will advance American priorities by driving greater quality and competitiveness for customers in the critical industries that rely on American steel while strengthening American supply chains and economic defenses against China,” it added.

In a statement obtained by The Hill on Thursday, Biden said it is “important that we maintain strong American steel companies powered by American steel workers.”

“I told our steel workers I have their backs, and I meant it. U.S. Steel has been an iconic American steel company for more than a century, and it is vital for it to remain an American steel company that is domestically owned and operated,” the president continued.

Biden’s comments on the possible acquisition were his first since it was announced in December. Fears have been raised among Pennsylvania lawmakers and steelworkers about what the deal could mean for outsourcing jobs, union workers and U.S. supply chains.

The White House has said the deal would be reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States but has not offered any updates on that process.

“Our aim is to bolster and grow U. S. Steel in the U.S. market in a way that prioritizes its talented employees, and we have provided significant commitments to the [United Steelworkers union] in our continued efforts to reach a mutually agreeable resolution,” Nippon Steel continued in its Friday statement.

“These include job security, pension security, capital investment, technology sharing, financial reporting, and the ability to enforce contractual obligations post-closing.”

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