Steel Mills

President Biden hits out at Nippon's play for USS

Written by Ethan Bernard

President Biden said on Thursday that it’s “vital” for U.S. Steel to remain an American steel company.

“It is important that we maintain strong American steel companies powered by American steel workers,” he said in a statement.

“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 added.

The United Steelworkers (USW) union supported the president. The USW has previously voiced its criticism of Japan’s Nippon Steel Corp.’s (NSC’s) proposed buy of the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker.

“The USW welcomes President Biden’s statement on the proposed USS-Nippon deal and shares his concerns over the sale’s long-term implications for our economic and national security,” the union said in a statement on Thursday.

 “The president’s statements should end the debate: U.S. Steel must remain ‘domestically owned and operated,” USW added.

A request for comment from U.S. Steel and Nippon Steel was not returned by time of publication.

In a separate letter on March 11, addressed to Nippon representative director and EVP Takahiro Mori, USW said, “In many of our communications, NSC representatives have made clear that NSC does not propose, in fact, to take U.S. Steel’s obligations as its own or to take these obligations unto itself.”

“Nor has NSC committed to binding itself to the BLAs and all of the other agreements that U.S. Steel presently has with the USW.”

The union said that if Nippon “were actually to ‘assume all USW agreements,’ consistent with the legal meaning of that term, it would stand in the shoes of U.S. Steel under the USW agreements and be bound by all of the obligations pertaining to U.S. Steel that are found in or related to those agreements.”

Ethan Bernard

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