Nippon Steel’s $14.9B U.S. Steel Bid Sparks National Security Fears

Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel has announced its acquisition of U.S. Steel Corp. in a monumental $14.9 billion deal. However, members of both political parties have criticized the move as a threat to national security.

Nippon Steel’s Major Move

Image Credit: Shutterstock / oasis2me

Nippon Steel is set to pay $55 per share in cash for the acquisition of U.S. Steel, assuming all existing debts. The offer, representing a 40-percent premium to U.S. Steel’s closing stock price, has already seen U.S. Steel’s stocks rise by 25 percent.

Factors Driving the Acquisition

Image Credit: Shutterstock / InWay

Currently, there’s a high domestic demand for steel. Nippon Steel is the world’s fourth-largest steel producer and explained its plans in a statement.

Targeting U.S. Cheap Energy

Image Credit: Shutterstock / industryviews

“Energy and manufacturing industries [will] return to the U.S. under changes in the world economy structure and cheap energy in the U.S.,” Nippon Steel said in a statement. 

Nippon Steel Optimistic

Image Credit: Shutterstock / ThamKC

“The infrastructure bill and spending are expected to drive steel demand uptick moving forward,” the statement continued, showing Nippon Steel’s optimism behind the huge deal, but on the U.S. side, there are major concerns.

Concerns and Backlash

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Katherine Welles

Lawmakers from both parties expressed concerns over the acquisition, with Republican senators urging the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to block the deal.

Calls To Block The Move

Image Credit: Shutterstock / VRVIRUS

“[CFIUS] can and should block the acquisition of U.S. Steel by NSC,” said Senators Vance, Rubio and Hawley, before calling Nippon Steel “a company whose allegiances clearly lie with a foreign state and whose record in the United States is deeply flawed.”

Three Reasons to Block

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov

They argue that the acquisition may threaten national security, shift jobs, and undermine U.S. industrial capacity.

Senators and Democrats Speak Out

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrew Cline

Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin, Sen. Sherrod Brown, and Sen. Bob Casey, have called the deal, “a major blow to the American steel industry.”

“Direct Threat” to America

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nicole Glass Photography

They also claim that it’s, “a direct threat to our national security. We must be doing everything we can to prevent any further deterioration of American ownership,” said Manchin.

Job Losses A Possibility

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pormezz

Union leaders, including the United Steelworkers, voiced their concerns over the deal because of violations of partnership agreements and huge potential job losses. 

No Union Members Present at Meeting

Image Credit: Shutterstock / lev radin

Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown criticized the lack of inclusion of union employees in decision-making, “Nippon and U.S. Steel have insulted American steelworkers by refusing to give them a seat at the table and raised grave concerns about their commitment to the future of the American steel industry.” – Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)

Union’s Call for Closer Examination

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Steve Heap

The United Steelworkers union called the deal a violation of their agreement with management and urged government regulators to scrutinize the acquisition closely. 

President of Union Speaks Out

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Matej Kastelic

The President of the union stressed that “We … will strongly urge government regulators to carefully scrutinize this acquisition and determine if the proposed transaction serves the national security interests of the United States and benefits workers.” 

Nippon Steel’s Purchase Plan

Image Credit: Shutterstock / II.studio

The deal means U.S. Steel will become an unlisted company and a wholly owned subsidiary of NSC’s North American division. The finalization of the deal is expected in the second or third quarter of 2024, contingent upon shareholder and regulatory approval.

Sen. Bob Casey’s Concerns

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ben Von Klemperer

“I’m concerned about what this means for the Steelworkers and the good union jobs that have supported Pennsylvania families for generations, for the long-term investment in the Commonwealth, and for American industrial leadership,” said Senator Bob Casey.

Senator’s Opposition

Image Credit: Shutterstock / danielfela

Republican senators argued that the deal prioritizes shareholder returns over broader economic implications, “The transaction was not the product of careful deliberation over stakeholder interests, but rather the result of an auction to maximize shareholder returns,” they said in a joint statement.

Concerns about Eroding American Ownership

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Marie Kanger Born

Democrats worry about the erosion of American ownership in a vital industry. Sen. Dick Durbin expressed deep concerns, “We have U.S. Steel facilities in Illinois, and we’ve been troubled by their announcements over the past several years of reducing production. There’s something fundamentally troubling about this situation.” 

The Biden Administration’s Views

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff

National security adviser Jake Sullivan stressed the need for a strategic industrial policy at home,  “Through our trilateral coordination with Japan and Korea, we are coordinating on our industrial strategies to complement one another and avert a race-to-the-bottom by all competing for the same targets.”

Estimates by World Steel Association

Image Credit: Shutterstock / KAMONRAT

According to estimates by the World Steel Association industry group, the total production capacity of the combined entity would be nearly 59 million metric tons, pushing it up to the No. 3 position of global steel producers.

The post Nippon Steel’s $14.9B U.S. Steel Bid Sparks National Security Fears first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / yu_photo.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

Website | + posts

Leave a Comment