Fetterman vows to block sale of U.S. Steel to Japan's Nippon Steel

 December 20, 2023

To say that Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) has made shocking statements that buck his party would be an understatement.

His statements regarding his support for Israel made headlines, as they were largely out-of-line with members of the Democratic Party. His willingness to think outside of his party was evidenced once again this week.

According to Newsmax, after the bombshell announcement that U.S. Steel -- an iconic, Pittsburgh-based American steel company -- was sold to Japan's Nippon Steel this week, Fetterman held nothing back regarding his feelings on the matter.

The deal, worth $14.9 billion, was strongly rebuked by Republicans. Fetterman joined them in expressing his disgust over the sale.

"The acquisition of @U_S_Steel by a foreign company is wrong for workers and wrong for Pennsylvania. I’m gonna do everything I can to block it," he posted on X, along with a video explaining his thoughts.

Fetterman reiterated in the video that he will use his position of power to help block the sale of the company to a foreign nation.

"Steel is always about security — both our national security and the economic security of our steel communities. I am committed to doing anything I can do, using my platform and my position, to block this foreign sale," Fetterman said.

He took a stand for his constituents in the state, saying the sale was "wrong for workers and wrong for Pennsylvania."

Politically speaking, Fetterman made the right move, without a doubt. The company indicated in a release last year that it "supported an estimated 11,417 jobs" in Fetterman's home state.

A number of high-profile Republican lawmakers, including Sens. J.D. Vance (OH) and Josh Hawley (MO) banded together to urge the blocking of sale, even writing a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to insist that national security interests weren't taken into consideration in the sale of the company.

"Democratic and Republican administrations have both acted decisively over the last 40 years to bolster the industry. The endurance of President [Donald] Trump’s Section 232 tariffs on steel imports demonstrates that the preservation of the domestic steel industry remains vital to our national security," the senators wrote.

In a statement, U.S. Steel said Nippon Steel will "honor all collective bargaining agreements with United Steelworkers Union as part of commitment to maintaining strong stakeholder relations," adding that the headquarters would remain in Pittsburgh.

But for most, that's not the issue. The issue is that American companies that have influence on national security matters shouldn't be sold off to foreign countries, no matter their status.