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Nippon Steel is determined to move forward with its proposed acquisition of U.S. Steel, emphasizing its longstanding presence in the United States, according to the company’s new president. The Japanese firm has reached an agreement to purchase U.S. Steel for approximately $15 billion, though the deal faces considerable hurdles for approval in an election year in the U.S. The White House has highlighted the importance of steel to national security, with President Joe Biden expressing his opposition to foreign ownership of U.S. Steel. While former President Donald Trump has also vowed to block the deal if re-elected, it remains uncertain if Biden will utilize regulatory authorities to halt the acquisition.

Tadashi Imai, the newly appointed president, expressed confidence in Nippon Steel’s ability to support the growth of U.S. Steel within the United States, emphasizing the preservation of jobs and the development of the iconic American company. Despite criticism from lawmakers and the United Steelworkers (USW) union regarding potential job losses, Nippon Steel has committed to no layoffs resulting from the acquisition and plans to relocate its U.S. headquarters to Pittsburgh.

Imai highlighted the importance of engaging with the USW in good faith to discuss investment plans and strategies to enhance U.S. Steel’s competitiveness. He also noted that the acquisition would grant U.S. Steel access to Nippon Steel’s advanced technologies, particularly in electromagnetic steel sheet production. Internally, Imai emphasized the company’s focus on decarbonization and the need to make investment decisions regarding new electric furnaces at two Japanese sites, with a decision expected within the current or upcoming financial year.