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Steel News June 11, 2024 02:10:11 PM

U.S. Steel Buyout May be Approved if Biden Reelected, Former U.S. Official Says

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
Although Nippon Steel has expressed its intention to maintain employment, the USW has stepped up criticism and called this an empty promise.

U.S. Steel Buyout May be Approved if Biden Reelected, Former U.S. Official Says

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): Nippon Steel's planned acquisition of United States Steel may be approved by the U.S. government if current U.S. President Joe Biden wins a second term in the presidential election in November, a former senior U.S. trade official has said.

If Biden is reelected, there is a good chance that the U.S. government will approve the planned buyout on condition that Nippon Steel wins support from the United Steelworkers (USW) labor union, Glen Fukushima, former deputy assistant to the U.S. Trade Representative for Japan and China, said in a recent interview.

If former U.S. President Donald Trump returns to power, the possibility of Nippon Steel realizing its buyout of U.S. Steel would be lower, Fukushima, a third-generation Japanese American, said in Japanese.

Pennsylvania, where U.S. Steel's headquarters is located, is regarded as one of the swing states that will decide the outcome of the presidential election. The eastern U.S. state is important for both Biden and Trump, Fukushima said.

The planned U.S. Steel buyout developed into a political issue as both Biden and Trump have expressed opposition to the acquisition by Nippon Steel, because they want to win union votes and gain an advantage in the election campaign, pundits have said.

Although Nippon Steel has expressed its intention to maintain employment, the USW has stepped up criticism and called this an empty promise.

Fukushima underlined the need for Nippon Steel to reach an agreement with the labor union, which endorses Biden's reelection bid, on pension and other benefits on top of employment to pave the way for the president to approve the acquisition.

While saying he is not sure why Trump is opposed to the buyout, Fukushima said that the opposition of Robert Lighthizer, who served as U.S. Trade Representative under the Trump administration, may have affected Trump's stance on the issue.

Regarding concerns raised by some U.S. lawmakers about the impact of the acquisition on national security, Fukushima said that Japan is an ally and that the steel made by U.S. Steel is not directly linked to national defense.

Nippon Steel has received approvals for the buyout plan from regulatory authorities in all relevant countries except the United States. The U.S. government is currently investigating security implications and other issues.

 Courtesy: www.japantimes.co.jp

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