Slotkin, others in Congress cite concerns about U.S. Steel acquisition in letter to Biden

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich. 7th Dist.) has joined others in Congress in signing a new letter to President Joe Biden, pointing to concerns about the sale of United States Steel Corporation to Japan’s largest steelmaker, Nippon Steel.

“U.S. Steel cut thousands of autoworkers out of the decision to be sold to a foreign company and have offered no promises to keep those good-paying manufacturing jobs in America, so I’m joining my colleagues to push the administration to review the sale,” Slotkin said in a news release Thursday.

Nippon is buying the company in cash for about $14.1 billion, pending regulatory approval. The deal, worth about $14.9 billion including the assumption of debt, was announced on December 18.

The combined company is expected to be among the top three steel producers in the world.

“Steel is one of those critical items, deeply connected to our economic security. This sale seems like the opposite of all the lessons we learned the hard way during COVID, which is why I’m pushing for it to be reviewed with serious scrutiny,” Slotkin went on to say.

The Associated Press reported in December that U.S. Steel CEO David Burritt had said he did not see the acquisition as a major security concern.

A portion of US Steel’s Edgar Thomson plant is seen in Braddock, Pa., on Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. U.S. Steel, the Pittsburgh steel producer that played a key role in the nation’s industrialization, is being acquired by Nippon Steel in an all-cash deal valued at approximately $14.1 billion. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

“This is going to increase competition here in the United States with a great ally to the United States,” Burritt said. “It’s a great fit and we do not see that as a high-level risk factor. We’d say low level of risk.”

Representatives Dan Kildee (D-Mich. 8th Dist.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich. 6th Dist.) and Haley Stevens (D- Mich. 11th Dist.) also signed the letter. Along with Slotkin, they are all members of the Congressional Labor Caucus, which led the letter to the Biden administration.

The letter said, in part:

“The proposed acquisition of a major American steel producer by a foreign company also raises questions about the implications of this acquisition for U.S. national security and domestic steel production capabilities…We therefore encourage your Administration to use all available tools to ensure comprehensive regulatory review of this deal and its implications for U.S. workers and our industrial base.”


Lael Brainard, the director of the National Economic Council, said in December that Pres. Joe Biden “believes the purchase of this iconic American-owned company by a foreign entity — even one from a close ally — appears to deserve serious scrutiny in terms of its potential impact on national security and supply chain reliability.”

J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and others founded U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh in 1901. The company will keep its name and headquarters and will become a subsidiary of Nippon.

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