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President Joe Biden has announced his opposition to Japan’s Nippon Steel’s proposed $14.9 billion acquisition of US Steel Corp, stressing the importance of keeping the company a domestically owned and operated American entity.

Citing the need for strong American steel companies fueled by American workers, President Biden said, “US 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.”

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The announcement from President Biden triggered a 6.4% drop in US Steel’s shares, closing at $38.26 on Thursday, while the company remained silent on the matter. The White House also disclosed that President Biden spoke with United Steelworkers International President David McCall, reinforcing his support for US steelworkers. McCall commented on the call, saying, “Allowing one of our nation’s largest steel manufacturers to be purchased by a foreign-owned corporation leaves us vulnerable when it comes to meeting both our defense and critical infrastructure needs. The president’s statements should end the debate: US Steel must remain ‘domestically owned and operated.”

This all comes as President Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida are set to meet for an upcoming summit. Some have raised concerns about the US attempting to block the deal, noting that it could impact US-Japan relations, which the US has sought to continue strengthening as it deals with an increasingly tense situation in the Indo-Pacific, partly due to China’s growing influence.


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