Democratic Sen. John Fetterman harshly criticized the sale on Monday of Pittsburgh-based US Steel for $14.9 billion to Japan’s Nippon Steel as “absolutely outrageous,” joining Republicans in attacking the deal.

The Pennsylvania senator said on X that “it’s absolutely outrageous that US Steel has agreed to sell themselves to a foreign company. 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.”

He added that the move was “wrong for workers and wrong for Pennsylvania.”

Republican Sens. J.D. Vance (Ohio) and Josh Hawley (Missouri) on Tuesday wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that national security was not taken into consideration when the deal was entered, stating that “the transaction was not the product of careful deliberation over stakeholder interests.”

The senators stressed that “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 Washington Examiner pointed out that Trump used Section 232 on national security grounds to impose tariffs of 25% on steel, a policy that has been continued by the Biden administration.

US Steel said in an October press release that the company “supported an estimated 11,417 jobs” in Pennsylvania, including more than 3,700 directly employed by the company. 

Other Democrats in Pennsylvania have also questioned the sale, including Sen. Bob Casey and Rep. Chris Deluzio.

Dave McCormick, who is running against Casey in the 2024 election, wrote on X that “Bob Casey & Joe Biden have weakened America’s national security and economic standing in the world. We need to be a manufacturing country, with Americans working for American companies.”

US Steel stated that Nippon Steel will “honor all collective bargaining agreements with United Steelworkers Union as part of commitment to maintaining strong stakeholder relations” and that the headquarters will remain in Pittsburgh.

Brian Freeman | [email protected]

Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.

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