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Biden opposes plan to sell U.S. Steel to Nippon Steel, citing need for 'American steel workers'

86 Comments
By JOSH BOAK

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As long as the steel factories remain on US soil, and employ US workers, and remain open, what's the harm in changing ownership? It's not as if American corporate ownership has shown that they are especially competent.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

The US steel is a private company. This is not government business. It seems to me the US steel can do whatever for the company.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

what, you think they’re going to replace all the workers with japanese people?

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Biden aiming for the Blue Collar vote. Literally.

Might be a good political movem but the fact is that without Nippon Steel, US Steel is going to get crushed by the Chinese Steel companies whiich already dominate the market.

So we're all up in arms over Tik Tok. But are willing to risk the existence of a company so vital to our national interests. Short sighted and stupid,

10 ( +19 / -9 )

By opposing the merger, Biden has chosen to support unionized workers in a critical election year at the risk of upsetting the business community and an essential ally in Japan. Thursday's announcement, coming as Biden is campaigning in the Midwest, could have ripples in his race against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

Biden has demonstrated real support for unionized labor.

The United Steel Workers recognize this, and know a scammer, like Biden's predecessor, who purports to support blue-collar labor and ends up cheating it.

https://www.usw.org/blog/2016/billionaire-trump-fleeces-workers-small-businesses

6 ( +22 / -16 )

I can't find any information on this.

Simply, what is US Steel's position?

Is this a friendly acquisition?

The company, which is the world’s fourth largest steel producer, launched a website with supportive statements from Larry Summers, the former treasury secretary, and Pat Toomey, a Republican and former senator from Pennsylvania.

gary

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The Japanese company has tried to assuage critics by promising no job losses due to the merger. It also committed to keeping the U.S. Steel name and Pittsburgh headquarters, while noting it already has a presence in the American market and would bring in new resources to foster job growth.

This reminds me of the movie "Gung Ho" (1986) when a Japanese car company buys an American plant, the American liaison must mediate the clash of work attitudes between the foreign management and native labor.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

for those who criticize Biden's position ask yourself this. If U.S. Steel tried to purchase Nippon Steel, what position would the J-Gov take? I'm fairly confident it would be opposed and the Japanese courts would side with Tokyo!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Trump said this back on Feb 1.

You must be delighted, @JJE.

Biden is standing with America's steel workers and the manufacturing sector on his proven record of putting America First.

Without Biden’s America First stand, it doesn't take Nostradamus to see where this would be headed for the rank and file. First, Nippon Steel would bust the unions and rehire workers under shady contracts. Then, the rehired workers would be replaced with the waves of illegals arriving over the border Trump never secured as he promised he would!

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Just pre-election posturing here, I think. The same as Hillary's anti-TPP stance a few years back.

Biden knows this is a golden opportunity to modernize a critical sector, and it is in line with his general friend-shoring strategy.

The union will likely endorse the sale eventually, but it's a very delicate matter so messaging is important.

https://thediplomat.com/2024/03/avoiding-a-us-japan-rift-over-steel/

Industry union United Steelworkers (USW) – which, up until now, had acted in public as if it opposed the buyout under any conditions – signed a non-disclosure agreement with Nippon Steel. That means that it will now engage in serious and secret negotiations in the hopes of reaching an agreement that would enable USW to endorse the buyout.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So, RIP to US Steel - whoever wins in November.

Without Japanese investment, the US industry will cease to exist. American steel simply cannot be made efficient without help from Japan. The Chinese and Indians will kill them off. So many jobs will be lost.

Nihon Steel will now invest in steelmaking in the likes of far cheaper Thailand, which is a carmaking powerhouse. US's loss.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Okay, FJB is concerned for the workers’ jobs and yet he brings in illegals in the US while they take away jobs from the American people. What a hypocrite.

Illegals are "taking away jobs"? Do Americans really want those $4/hr farm jobs? I doubt it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Dear President Biden: This is capitalism. That is how it works. You're welcome!

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Mixed feelings about this.

Free Market System vs. National Security Interests

If U.S. Steel is being mismanaged, then maybe the Japanese could turn things around. Would that be such a bad thing? On the other hand, just how important is U.S. Steel for America and can Japan (or any other foreign country for that matter) be trusted where America's national security is at stake? What's good for Japan is good for America and vice-versa, isn't it?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

His energy policies have killed many jobs and he is letting hordes of illegals pour across the southern border - but now he cares about American jobs?

The guy who has added more jobs than any president in American history? Yes, he cares now, just as he did since the start of his term, and just as he and Obama did when they brought back all the jobs after Bush 2 crashed the economy (foreshadowing the next Republican president; Trump).

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Blacklabel

“How both Biden and Trump got to 'no' on the US Steel-Nippon merger”

> well Trump said it first as his policy and then Biden followed along behind claiming it as his.

> Seems a familiar timing.

Only one of those men is the current president.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Biden's been sliding in polls vs. Trump since Oct.

About as accurate and worthy of serious consideration as the belief that Yugoslavia broke up into 3 distinct countries.

well Trump said it first as his policy and then Biden followed along behind claiming it as his.

Did Trump copy Biden’s habit of incoherent rambling and became better at it or is it just a natural slide?

Anyway, regardless of who copied who, do you support Biden’s opposition here?

Given that you seem to unconditionally support anything that Trump says, shouldn’t you be happy about Biden being on the same page as Trump?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

union voters not feeling the love

The UAW sure does. They absolutely love Joe. It's why this MASSIVE union, one of the biggest in America, has fully endorsed Biden.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Then why are so many supporting him?

https://www.wsj.com/podcasts/whats-news/chasing-the-base-how-trump-won-over-michigans-white-working-class/4959bbf0-7358-40ac-9bee-431cc3b763be

They're lying to you.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Taking away jobs? U.S. unemployment in February 2024 was at 3.9%, the 25th straight month in which joblessness has remained below 4% — the longest such streak since the 1960s.

Trump? When he was inaugurated in January 2017, unemployment was at 4.7%. In October 2020, the month before Trump was voted out of office, unemployment was at 6.9%.

And lets not forget that Biden has added more jobs than any president, ever.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The down votes went wild. Biden back tracking...No suddenly Biden cares about American steel workers?

The United Auto Workers just yelled out in unison 'Yep, he sure does'. I could hear it from here!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It's a private business matter, Joe. Keep your big-government nose out of it.

A lot of criticism in this thread from hypocrites that supported Trump on his TikTok comments...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

well Trump said it first as his policy and then Biden followed along behind claiming it as his.

Nothing annoys MAGA more than when Democrats do something that they actually want them to do.

I mean, how are you supposed to be a victim of multiple fiendish conspiracies when the victimiser is doing what you have wanted them to do all along?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

working class Joe

That’s a good thing for those unhappy with the connected and corrupt ‘elites’, isn’t it?

That’s what the MAGA types have been told to get upset about.

Surely you don’t want a rich-kid grifter scamming money out of the less well off and less able for money he says he doesn’t need.

That would be immoral, dishonest and predatory.

Almost a stereotype of the elites the rightwing North American podcast watchers have been told is bad.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nothing annoys MAGA more than when Democrats do something that they actually want them to do.

Yeah, Biden coming through with the border legislation that the Republicans was an extreme annoyance to them. They're still fumbling, because they're trying to attack Biden on the border, but he and the Democrats rightly come back with 'here's the legislation you asked for, whatcha gonna do?', and they don't have a good response. Of course, their base will have no idea that the legislation exists, but the independents view news outside Fox (they lie you know) and OANN. They'll know there is a Republican-led border bill being blocked by the Republicans for political purposes. And non-extremists don't like it when politicians act against the people for political purposes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's a private business matter, Joe. Keep your big-government nose out of it.

I love a bit of nostalgia. You’ll have me downloading the Joshua Tree from Apple Music next.

Going back to the days before MAGA when conservatives believed in the government keeping its nose out as much as possible and not going berserk with the credit card.

They usually didn’t do it but at least they said it.

Different times, eh?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Blocking this is about Biden trying to sway swing voters in Pittsburg - it's a political play. If I am Nippon Steel - I would park the acquisition until 2025... and take another run at it then. Personally, I think being owned by Nippon Steel will help improve production quality, efficiency, etc - but also diversify supply chains of raw ore materials. If it truly clears anti-trust and CFIUS reviews, then it could be a win/win.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Dave FairToday  11:39 am JST

for those who criticize Biden's position ask yourself this. If U.S. Steel tried to purchase Nippon Steel, what position would the J-Gov take? I'm fairly confident it would be opposed and the Japanese courts would side with Tokyo!

Pure speculation. Be accurate please. Suppose Nippon Steel was so down and under that it couldn't compete with the 42 (yes, 42) Chinese Steel Companies. And no Japanese buyer could step in and save Nippon Steel. You can bet your bottom dollar that an investment by their closest ally would be welcomed.

That is the scenario that US Steel is facing. China is going to drestroy them and no American buyer can step up.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Quo PrimumToday 04:37 pm JST

So, Biden doesn't want Japanese people to take Americans' jobs.

But Chinese and Mexican people taking them is, to him, just fine.

And according to that bastion of right-wing extremist thought known as the New York Times, the U.S. is paying the salaries of every single police officer, fire fighter, and other first responder in Ukraine.

Cash is keeping Ukraine alive. I know that upsets you.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Stormcrow:

how important is U.S. Steel for America and can Japan (or any other foreign country for that matter) be trusted where America's national security is at stake?

"National security" is just a cop-out. It's fashionable nowadays.

To quote Sir Patrick: "National secutity...the age old cry of the oppressor."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"National security" is just a cop-out. It's fashionable nowadays.

To quote Sir Patrick: "National secutity...the age old cry of the oppressor."

It's not a binary option, it's a scale. Any country that ignores national security in the name of the economy, will find itself insecure. Any country that ignores the economy in the name of national security will be not free. Healthy countries find a balance of an open economy that protects national security.

Darn nuance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This reminds me of the movie "Gung Ho" (1986) when a Japanese car company buys an American plant, the American liaison must mediate the clash of work attitudes between the foreign management and native labor.

This reminds me of “American Factory” (美国工厂) a 2019 American documentary film directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, about Chinese company Fuyao's factory in Moraine, a city near Dayton, Ohio, that occupies Moraine Assembly, a shuttered General Motors plant.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

AramaTaihenNoYouDidntMar. 15 09:18 am JST

This reminds me of the movie "Gung Ho" (1986) when a Japanese car company buys an American plant, the American liaison must mediate the clash of work attitudes between the foreign management and native labor.

I believe it: when you ask an American to do overtime they will tell you to pay up or get stuffed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

seriously, it is good news for Nippon Steel, now they can use their money to invest in other more trustworthy deals

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Just pre-election posturing here, I think.

Yes, because Biden wouldn't do something for the benefit of the American worker, right? The UAW will tell you so.... right?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Trump did as well

No he didn't. Trump has only acted against unions.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Re foreigners taking American jobs, why don’t US Americans want to be medical doctors or nurses, it’s not just meat plant workers US Americans don’t want to be

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Mr Biden thought that Japan buying a US steel mill would bring it home. What a president.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah, Biden coming through with the border legislation that the Republicans was an extreme annoyance to them.

You seem to be implying that 'America First' is in reality, 'Trump Re-election First'.

And with that you are suggesting that MAGA puts hyperpartisan politics before the good of the nation.

Surely these Patriots wouldn't do that? After all, they hate politicians.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Going back to the days before MAGA when conservatives believed in the government keeping its nose out as much as possible and not going berserk with the credit card.

'Fisal responsibility' apparently only applies to the other team.

Trump loves his tariffs. He still thinks that they work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Biden opposes plan to sell U.S. Steel

So, he'll be consistent and oppose plan to sell tiktok (imposed by US govt)?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just a thought, but can't the sale go through and the new owners would be required to negotiate with the unions just like the old owners? New ownership doesn't negate labour laws. Might even be run better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

US Steel - Nippon merger might be a US security concern thus the no vote from Pres Biden

0 ( +0 / -0 )

US Steel was founded by Andrew Carnegie, a child of an American dream, in 190l with a fund amounting to $ 1 billion.

So, it must be unbearable for Americans to see the steel company to be sold to and put under a foreign company, Nippon Steel of Japan. But even with this amalgamation, the new company will rank second in size after, probably, a Chinese or a South Korean company. Time changes, indeed.  

The company that comes late has an advantage over an old one because the late-comer can build plants with the state of art technology and produce cheaper and more reliable products.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Biden's opposition to the selling of US Steel to a foreign company is explained as a labor problem. 

But wouldn't letting the status quo keep going result in a more serious labor problem because the company that employs the labor will go busting eventually unless something is done now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First Presidential thing he has done since he has been in office.

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

Biden must really hate that Honda and Toyota have huge factories in the US, and that the Accord and Camry are top sellers.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Toblerone

yet he brings in illegals in the US while they take away jobs from the American people. What a hypocrite.

Over the past three years, the Biden administration has carried out 4 million expulsions and deportations — more than the Trump administration ever did.

Republicans won’t pass an immigration reform because they need that cheap labor for their under $10 IHOP meals.

Taking away jobs? U.S. unemployment in February 2024 was at 3.9%, the 25th straight month in which joblessness has remained below 4% — the longest such streak since the 1960s.

Trump? When he was inaugurated in January 2017, unemployment was at 4.7%. In October 2020, the month before Trump was voted out of office, unemployment was at 6.9%.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Biden is so low in the US approval ratings (37%) that he is reverting to Trump-type policies. Lol. So much has gone wrong in the US Bidenomics economy. You would only really know if you live here in the US.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's a private business matter, Joe. Keep your big-government nose out of it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

When Trump said that months ago, he was mocked by certain quarters.

Now that Biden has essentially said the same thing, I wonder what the reaction will be.

-2 ( +23 / -25 )

Probably just an election year move. Of course with isolationist Trump, no amount of damage is too much to do to the US economy.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Unwise to try this in election year (read the air, etc). But might actually be a lucky escape. Washington will probably nationalise it as a war asset and happily run it at a loss.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Steel production is crucial to national security. Foreigners should NOT own our steel companies. FULL STOP.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

So much for free market capitalism hey

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So did Biden s backing help us steel? Would help a lot if it raised investor confidence

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Okay, FJB is concerned for the workers’ jobs and yet he brings in illegals in the US while they take away jobs from the American people. What a hypocrite.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

“How both Biden and Trump got to 'no' on the US Steel-Nippon merger”

well Trump said it first as his policy and then Biden followed along behind claiming it as his.

Seems a familiar timing.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

National security in dangerous times, union voters not feeling the love, Joe's painted into corner with polling heading south, working class Joe from Scranton PA needs to results, rather than reacting on his backfoot.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In actuality, it probably is lucky for the Japanese buyers! Who wants to take over a strongly unionised loss making business anyway?!

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Biden's got no choice, union vote moving against him, mad about Green Policies, especially EV, killing jobs, high prices, continued inflation, etc.

Biden's in political peril, has to try to shore up the base, it's been obvious since this deal announced, Biden's been sliding in polls vs. Trump since Oct.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Biden had 72% union vote in 2020, most polling now has him under 50% and trending steadily down.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

If one uses Govt. calc. for inflation in 970's, which took into account cost of money, interest rates, today's inflation would close to 10%, that's what Union workers feel like at US Steel in their working-class lives, they have debt to service, times are $tough.

Union workers also know now, working class Joe from Scranton PA, simply political tagline, $8 Million dollar book signing bonus and family influence peddling by James and Hunter, proof he's $high-class Joe!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

If one uses Govt. calc. for inflation in 1970's, which took into account cost of money, interest rates, today's inflation would close to 10%, that's what Union workers feel like at US Steel in their working-class lives, they have debt to service, times are $tough.

Union workers also know now, working class Joe from Scranton PA, simply political tagline, $8 Million dollar book signing bonus and family influence peddling by James and Hunter, proof he's $high-class Joe!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Only Because Trump put opposed it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It's political silly season, NO Politician could support this merger, amazed Nippon Steel didn't think thru timing considerations, given Nov elections, utterly obvious.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

They both don't care, whatever gets them votes. Now instead of having a financial backer they will have a competitor.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

First TIc-Tok and now Nippon Steel. America and the west are in decline. They are getting their As## kicked by Asia and they know it. The Age of Asia is here.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Usual US hypocrisy.... Against protectionism until they want to do it.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Steel production is crucial to national security. Foreigners should NOT own our steel companies. FULL STOP.

Absolutely, anybody would be flat out crazy to sell that to the Japanese. On top of that they have no idea what they are dealing with. I have been working with Japanese professionally for over 20 years in Japan and it has been a real pain. No way this merger will work with people in US who have no idea how to deal with them. The Japanese will end up just acquiring the assets of US Steel and fire everyone in US for « cultural difference ».

And let’s be real here, there is no way the Japanese government would accept the foreign acquisition of a big Japanese company on the short or long term. Look at what a happened to Renault. They ended losing most of their control of Nissan after saving them from bankruptcy. Japanese behaves like mafia in business, they are just no trustable.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Biden has a close relationship with the United Steelworkers. He gave the union members “personal assurances" that he has their backs, according to a February statement by the union about Nippon Steel's plans. 

Nice try, should have spoken immediately after Nippon steel made this public, DT has the lead on this one and this will not change, going forward need to be more proactive...

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Why didn't he say it before? Did he just change his mind?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

His energy policies have killed many jobs and he is letting hordes of illegals pour across the southern border - but now he cares about American jobs?

Oh, right. There‘s an election coming up.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I am really enjoying this. When this topic came up. The sale of US steel to Japan Steele.

I was and still am dead set against the sale for two reasons.

U.S. steel is American history. Like GE. Hoover. Betty Crocker, Kraft. It should never sold.

Bankrupted yes, before sale. Its history.

Kept American workers in jobs.

The down votes went wild. Biden back tracking...No suddenly Biden cares about American steel workers?

Do not kid yourself.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

LOL Strange such Malarkey. Shawn Fain wrapped up all strike wise issues and solved most with UAW/GM/ Ford /Stellantis. I know. I am member of the UAW for over 20 years. Biden if anything was a mere distraction and a voice from a far during the strike only calling for end to it. The Biden Admin stinks to high heaven! Inflation, Border crises, high unemployment rates, Hasty withdrawal out of Afghanistan costing lives, crime, Need I go on? Cause I could. But the big one. National security at home and afar. Horrific! But yes I know. You cant see anyone else's point where Biden and Bidenomics has effected me and so many others! I have paid my 4 years of dues of suffering under Biden.

No more. He's got to go. End of the line. Joe Biden is embarrassment to my country at this point.

Not much choice but to vote Trump. Joe ran the U.S. into the ground.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

So, Biden doesn't want Japanese people to take Americans' jobs.

But Chinese and Mexican people taking them is, to him, just fine.

And according to that bastion of right-wing extremist thought known as the New York Times, the U.S. is paying the salaries of every single police officer, fire fighter, and other first responder in Ukraine.

All of this tells me that he doesn't really care about Americans' jobs. Unless it's an election year, of course.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

For decades Japan has been protectionist and hostile to imports, and foreign takeovers. Maybe it is time that the US did the same. Good to see both Biden and Trump agreeing on this. I think that both are right and are putting America first.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

So much for an open and Free Indo Pacific.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Biden has demonstrated real support for unionized labor. 

Trump did as well now I Biden backpedaling? Could it be because of his poll numbers?

The United Steel Workers recognize this, and know a scammer,

Well, yes, look at Biden's poll numbers! Yikes!

like Biden's predecessor, who purports to support blue-collar labor and ends up cheating it.

Then why are so many supporting him?

https://www.wsj.com/podcasts/whats-news/chasing-the-base-how-trump-won-over-michigans-white-working-class/4959bbf0-7358-40ac-9bee-431cc3b763be

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

American company for American people, that's make sense right? Even Japanese companies will prefer Japan's buyer.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14620935

-9 ( +15 / -24 )

yet he brings in illegals in the US while they take away jobs from the American people. What a hypocrite.

Hypocrisy is Biden’s middle name. Just look at Gaza.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

First Presidential thing he has done since he has been in office.

Yep, and he’s stealing the policy from Trump!

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Trump said this back on Feb 1.

What took Biden so long to get with the program...

Truth is he was hedging his bets and looking into whether a sell-off would benefit him, his family and/or his donors and cronies. Clearly an electoral year. Biden has a long track record of backstabbing unions with his support of "free" trade deals (NAFTA) and other blue-collar-job-killing legislation.

-13 ( +18 / -31 )

Clearly duplicious reporting by the heavily left-biased media.

Again, Trump is right!

-16 ( +11 / -27 )

Good old Joe must take this opportunity..

Japan can save the rusty and decadent US steel industry..

-18 ( +6 / -24 )

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