“Steel is always about security – both our national security and the economic security of our steel communities.”
Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) said he would do “anything” to block Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel’s acquisition of U.S. Steel.
Nippon Steel bought U.S. Steel for $14.9 billion. U.S. Steel will keep its name and headquarters in Pittsburgh.
“I’m gonna do everything I can to block it,” Fetterman wrote on X.
“I live across the street from U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thompson plant in Braddock,” Fetterman said in a statement. “It’s absolutely outrageous that U.S. Steel has agreed to sell themselves to a foreign company. Steel is always about security – both our national security and the economic security of our steel communities. I am committed to doing anything I can do, using my platform and my position, to block this foreign sale.”
J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie founded U.S. Steel 122 years ago.
Nippon Steel already has a huge hold on the world’s steel market, but buying U.S. steel gives it an upper hand in America’s auto industry.
Owning U.S. steel gives Nippon Steel access to the “specialized steel used in electric vehicles.”
Nippon Steel will become the second-largest steelmaker in the world. Chican’s Baowu Steel Group holds the top spot.
The United Steelworkers union lashed out at the deal, mainly because Nippon Steel and U.S. Steel did not consult with them before they made the deal.
The union described “the sale as greedy and shortsighted.” But both companies promised to honor the contracts:
“We remained open throughout this process to working with U.S. Steel to keep this iconic American company domestically owned and operated,” Union President David McCall said. “Instead, it chose to push aside the concerns of its dedicated workforce and sell to a foreign-owned company.”
U.S. Steel and Nippon Steel said they would honor existing contracts with union-represented workers, and that the companies agreed on the importance of investing in employees.
Don Furko, president of union local in Clairton, Pa., said he was hopeful that new owners will add more workers in the region. The union chapter represents about 1,100 of the 3,000 employees at the company’s three plants that make up the Mon Valley Works outside of Pittsburgh. In 2019, U.S. Steel said it would spend $1.2 billion to modernize the plants, then canceled those plans two years later when it acquired a new mill in Arkansas.
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