Three Republican Senators Oppose Nippon-U.S. Steel Deal over National Security

REUTERS file photo
Senate candidate JD Vance campaigns in Boardman, Ohio, U.S., February 16, 2022.

Dec 19 (Reuters) – Three U.S. Senators have urged Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to block the $14.9 billion acquisition of U.S. Steel X.N by Japan’s Nippon Steel 5401.T, citing national security.

Nippon clinched a deal on Monday to buy U.S. Steel for $14.9 billion in cash, prevailing in an auction for the 122-year-old iconic steelmaker over rivals such as Cleveland-Cliffs CLF.N, ArcelorMittal MT.LU and Nucor NUE.N.

“Despite the absence of any security-focused deliberation on U.S. Steel’s part, domestic steel production is vital to U.S. national security,” according to the letter on Tuesday from Republican Senators JD Vance, Josh Hawley and Marco Rubio.

Yellen is also the chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a panel that scrutinizes deals for potential national security risks. The CFIUS is expected to review the transaction.

At least two Democratic senators, Sherrod Brown and John Fetterman, have also expressed opposition to the deal.

The United Steelworkers union, which represents thousands of workers at the storied steelmaker, has also come out against the transaction.