Budzinski Calls For Comprehensive Review of U.S. Steel Acquisition

Jan 03, 2024
Economy
Labor
Press

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) and Congressional Labor Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Mark Pocan, Donald Norcross, Debbie Dingell, Steven Horsford, Marcy Kaptur, Chris Deluzio and Emilia Sykes led 45 of their colleagues in a bipartisan letter urging the Biden Administration to ensure a comprehensive regulatory review of Nippon Steel’s acquisition of U.S. Steel.

“Domestic steel production is crucial to the U.S. economy, including by supporting tens of thousands of well-paying, middle-class jobs across the country, as well as being key to the U.S. industrial base and our global competitiveness. To preserve U.S. domestic steel production capacity and to ensure that steel production jobs remain good jobs going forward, it is critical that any company that acquires U.S. Steel commits to respecting and working collaboratively with the company’s workforce,” the Members wrote in a letter to President Biden.

“However, as you know, the union representing the U.S. Steel workforce, the United Steelworkers (USW), has raised significant concerns about Nippon’s planned acquisition of U.S. Steel, including a failure by both parties to consult USW in the process,” the Members continued. “We therefore encourage your Administration to use all available tools to ensure a comprehensive regulatory review of this deal and its implications for U.S. workers and our industrial base.”

The letter also raises the implications of the acquisition for U.S. national security and domestic steel production capabilities, and it expresses support for National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard’s comment that this acquisition “appears to deserve serious scrutiny.”

This letter follows a December 21, 2023, letter led by Congresswoman Budzinski and signed by Senators Durbin and Duckworth demanding answers from Nippon Steel on their intentions with existing operations and facilities in Illinois, details on worker retention and any proposed layoffs and their plans for Granite City Works.

The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

January 3, 2024

President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C.

Dear President Biden:

We are writing regarding the recently announced acquisition of U.S. Steel by Nippon Steel.
Given the importance of the domestic steel industry to the U.S. economy, we respectfully request
that the Biden Administration utilize all applicable authorities at your disposal to ensure a
comprehensive review of this acquisition.

Domestic steel production is crucial to the U.S. economy, including by supporting tens of
thousands of well-paying, middle-class jobs across the country, as well as being key to the U.S.
industrial base and our global competitiveness. To preserve U.S. domestic steel production
capacity and to ensure that steel production jobs remain good jobs going forward, it is critical
that any company that acquires U.S. Steel commits to respecting and working collaboratively
with the company’s workforce.

However, as you know, the union representing the U.S. Steel workforce, the United Steelworkers
(USW), has raised significant concerns about Nippon’s planned acquisition of U.S. Steel,
including a failure by both parties to consult USW in the process – which appears to be a
violation of U.S. Steel’s partnership agreement with USW. 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.

Given these concerns, we agree with National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard’s
comment that this acquisition “appears to deserve serious scrutiny,” and 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.

Thank you for your time and attention to these important issues.

Sincerely,

###

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