Stop The Steel? Biden Vows To Block Foreign Acquisition Of Iconic American Company

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Will Kessler Contributor
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President Joe Biden promised on Wednesday to block the acquisition of U.S. Steel by a Japanese competitor in remarks to a crowd in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, made up of unionized steelworkers.

The Japanese Nippon Steel Corporation, the fourth-largest steel producer, first announced that it would be acquiring U.S. Steel in December for around $14.9 billion after turning down other offers, including from American steel company Cleveland Cliffs. The president, in his remarks, emphasized the importance of the American steel industry and called out China for subsidizing their own steel producers. (RELATED: Biden Labor Regulator Rolls Out Final Rule Requiring Employers To Give Time Off For Abortions)

“Look, first, U.S. Steel has been an iconic American company for more than a century,” Biden said in his remarks. “And it should remain a totally American company — American owned, American operated, by American union steelworkers — the best in the world. And it’s — that’s going to happen. I promise you.”

In his remarks, Biden also called on the U.S. Trade Representative to triple tariff rates on Chinese-made steel if an investigation confirms that the Chinese government is using anti-competitive practices.

“Second, American steelworkers can outwork, outcompete as long as they have fair competition,” Biden continued. “But for too long, the Chinese government has poured state money into Chinese steel companies, pushing them to make so much steel — as much as possible — subsidized by the Chinese government.”

U.S. Steel emphasized in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation that the company will remain American, with its headquarters, its production and its mining operations remaining in the U.S. The company also noted that no plants or jobs will be closed or moved out of the country and that the company will continue to cooperate with unions.

“Our mutual aim is to protect and grow U.S. Steel in the U.S. market while prioritizing employees,” U.S. Steel and Nippon Steel told the DCNF. “To achieve this, Nippon Steel has provided significant commitments to the USW, including undertakings relating to job security, pension security, capital investment, technology sharing, financial reporting, and the ability to enforce contractual obligations post-closing.”

The president has long sought to swoon the support of union workers as part of his voting base, pledging to be “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.” Biden has already secured the endorsement of some top unions, including the United Auto Workers and the AFL-CIO.

Biden previously announced his opposition to the foreign acquisition in March, but he was not planning to intervene at the time, according to sources who spoke to the Associated Press.

The Biden administration previously removed Trump-era steel and aluminum tariffs on the European Union amid further trade negotiations, according to Reuters.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the DCNF.

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