International Steel Mills

Japan's Kishida and Biden to meet amid tensions around USS sale

Written by Ethan Bernard

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will be in Washington to meet with President Biden this week amid tensions around U.S. Steel’s proposed sale to Nippon Steel.

The visit begins on Tuesday and includes an official visit and formal state dinner at the White House on Wednesday, as well as a joint press conference, according to a report on Tuesday from the Associated Press. Kishida will also address a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday, the report noted.

Reporters asked during a background call with senior Biden administration officials on Tuesday whether the president would raise concerns about the acquisition with Kishida. Two senior administration officials said the deal would not be discussed by the heads of state.

“Look, the relationship between the United States and Japan is far bigger and more significant than a single commercial deal,” one senior administration official said, according to a transcript of the call.

Rahm Emanuel, the ambassador to Japan and the former mayor of Chicago, made similar comments at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, according to the AP. “As we would say in Chicago, you got to chill,” Emmanuel said.

But recall that President Biden came out against the sale of U.S. Steel to Japan’s Nippon last month.

Other topics include the war in Ukraine and Chinese military action in the Pacific, the AP report said.

CLARIFICATION: A previous version of the article, and earlier mainstream media reports, said the topic of U.S. Steel’s sale to Nippon Steel would be discussed. As noted above, senior administration officials say discussion of the U.S. Steel-Nippon deal is not on the agenda of issues for Biden and Kishida to discuss.

Ethan Bernard

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