The U.S. Capitol Building on June 1, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Pennsylvania U.S. Sens. Bob Casey (D) and John Fetterman (D) and U.S. Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-17th District) are calling on U.S. Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen to block the proposed purchase of U.S. Steel by Japan-based Nippon Steel.
“With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act, the United States has acted to make the U.S. market the most competitive in the world and to reshore critical supply chains,” the lawmakers wrote in the joint letter on Wednesday. “Allowing for the ownership of a major industrial participant in infrastructure and clean energy investments to be acquired by a foreign entity would be a step backwards in our commitment to supply chain integrity and economic security.”
Yellen serves as the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
U.S. Steel and the steel industry are a critical part of Pennsylvania, the lawmakers argue in the letter, and the nation’s “economic identity,” and say that steel is essential to our national security.
“CFIUS should block the acquisition of U.S. Steel by a foreign company, especially since there were bids made by American companies that would not trigger our expressed security concerns,” they write in the joint letter.
They specifically cite Executive Order 14083, which deals with the possible risks of foreign investment in U.S. companies, as evidence that the proposed sale meets the criteria for review. This policy states that the United States welcomes and supports foreign investment, as long as it’s consistent with the protection of national security.
The joint letter also offered concerns about Nippon Steel facilities in China, which the Congressmen said is “a foreign adversary of the U.S.”
The announcement comes one day after the three lawmakers, along with U.S. Rep. Summer Lee (D-12th District) sent a letter demanding answers from Nippon Steel about their commitment to Pennsylvanians.
U.S. Steel employed 3,703 workers in Pennsylvania as of October.
The United Steelworkers union has also criticized the proposed sale.
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