US Steel Corp which has agreed to be bought by Japan's Nippon Steel for $14.9 billion, must remain a domestically owned American firm, president Joe Biden has said, in his first public statement of opposition toward the deal.

"US Steel has been an iconic American steel company for more than a century, and it is vital for it to remain an American steel company that is domestically owned and operated."

Joe Biden, president of the United States of America

"US Steel has been an iconic American steel company for more than a century, and it is vital for it to remain an American steel company that is domestically owned and operated," the president said.

The White House said in December that the proposed acquisition deserved ‘serious scrutiny’ given US Steel's core role in steel production that is critical to national security, and negotiations have since been subjected to discussion within the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a panel that reviews foreign investments in US companies.

Nippon Steel said in a statement on Thursday that the acquisition would deliver ‘clear benefits to US Steel, union workers, the broader American steel industry, and American national security.’

"We are progressing through the regulatory review, including CFIUS, while trusting the rule-of-law, objectivity, and due process we expect from the U.S. Government. We are determined to see this through and complete the transaction."

Statement from Nippon Steel

"We are progressing through the regulatory review, including CFIUS, while trusting the rule-of-law, objectivity, and due process we expect from the U.S. Government. We are determined to see this through and complete the transaction," it said.

Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves said that he would consider another bid for US Steel if the deal with Nippon Steel falls apart. Cleveland-Cliffs was among the initial bidders for US Steel.

Source: Reuters