Nippon Steel rebuffs Trump criticism over U.S. Steel deal

Nippon Steel Corp. said Wednesday its planned $14.1 billion acquisition of United States Steel Corp. will proceed as planned, dismissing opposition expressed by former U.S. President Donald Trump, who said he will block the deal if he returns to power.

"The deal is beneficial to both countries, as well as relevant industries," Nippon Steel Executive Vice President Takahiro Mori told a press conference. "It should not be blocked by ulterior motives in the political world."

The Japanese company said there will be no change in the schedule of the deal, which is expected to be closed in the second or third quarter of 2024, subject to approval by the U.S. firm's shareholders and regulators in the country.

Trump said last month he would block Nippon Steel's plan to buy an iconic American steelmaker if he wins the November presidential election.

"We saved the steel industry. Now, U.S. Steel is being bought by Japan. So terrible," he said.

United Steelworkers, a major labor union also trying to stop the deal, said earlier this month that President Joe Biden supports its efforts.

The deal, which would catapult Nippon Steel to the world's No. 3 steelmaker, seeks to tap into the increasing demand for high-grade steel products in the world's biggest economy, it has said.

© Kyodo News