Nippon Steel’s Acquisition of US Steel Faces Scrutiny

According to citing Reuters, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura recently stated that Japan-US relations are “better than ever,” but he declined to comment on the US review of Nippon Steel’s acquisition of US Steel.

At a press conference, Nishimura noted that he was aware of the US National Economic Council Director’s statement that the acquisition deserved “rigorous scrutiny,” but he would not comment directly on private enterprise transactions.

“I believe Nippon Steel just needs to take appropriate steps in the process,” he said. “In any case, the Japan-US alliance is stronger than ever, … and cooperation in the field of economic security is very important.”

On the 21st, the White House stated that Nippon Steel’s $14.9 billion acquisition of US Steel requires serious review because the company produces a material very important to national security.

The White House’s strong statement comes as criticism of the acquisition intensifies among Democratic and Republican lawmakers, as well as the main workers’ organization of the third-largest steel company in the US – United Steelworkers.

In a statement, Nippon Steel expressed belief that the acquisition would be beneficial to all parties. Akira Amari, a member of Japan’s ruling party, stated that the government hopes to assist the company if requested. Nippon Steel “should alleviate concerns about employment as soon as possible,” he added.

A banker involved in the transaction, who wished to remain anonymous, mentioned that expected interest rate rises would increase the company’s financing costs.

Nippon Steel’s management defended the hefty premium paid for the iconic American steel manufacturer, stating the company aims to increase overseas revenue.

“It’s a miracle it could be sold. Such a deal is once in a lifetime,” said another banker.

As one of Washington’s closest allies, Japan’s acquisition is facing increasing opposition, while the US continues to strive for deeper supply chain cooperation.

An official from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry stated that the White House’s response came after unions requested a review of the agreement, which is not surprising and does not affect the Japan-US alliance.

Nippon Steel will proceed according to procedure and explain as required, the official added.

Shortly after issuing a statement on Monday, Rahm Emanuel, the US Ambassador to Japan, welcomed the transaction on social media platform X, stating that the two companies are “building the future of the crucial steel industry and establishing solid ties in a more competitive environment.” He added that the transaction will “closely” strengthen the alliance between the US and Japan.

A spokesperson for the US Embassy said on Friday (22nd) that the ambassador had no further comment on the transaction.

[Source – 上海有色网] 新日铁收购美国钢铁公司面临审查

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