Biden wins United Steelworkers union endorsement after opposing US Steel sale to Nippon

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WASHINGTON — Less than a week after President Joe Biden came out in opposition of the planned sale of U.S. Steel to Japanese-based Nippon Steel Corporation, the company’s union has endorsed his 2024 reelection bid.

“With his track record of supporting working people, we're eager for his administration's continued progress on our core issues,” the union announced in a Tweet Wednesday.

The United Steelworkers union, which also backed Biden in 2020, represents 850,000 workers in steel mills, manufacturing plants, mines, rubber plants and railyards as well as nursing homes, legal clinics, social agencies, call centers and credit unions, among other sectors.

“I told our steel workers I have their backs, and I meant it. U.S. 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,” Biden said in a statement last week.

United Steelworkers has been a vocal opponent of the deal. The union filed a grievance against the steelmaker in January alleging the sale violated terms of its union contract.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -President Biden delivered remarks on making affordable housing more available for American families. (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -President Biden delivered remarks on making affordable housing more available for American families. (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)

The $14.9 billion sale, which would end U.S. ownership of the nation's second largest steelmaker, was announced in December and is under review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The secretive panel reviews the effect transactions may have on national security. U.S. Steel has been headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa. since 1901.

For its part, Nippon Steel has said it will advance American priorities by strengthening American supply chains and “economic defenses against China.” It has also vowed there will be "no layoffs or plant closures" as a result of the transaction.

The president has made strengthening America's manufacturing base a centerpiece of his economic agenda and he regularly touts himself as the "most pro-union president" in history.

Julie Chávez Rodríguez, campaign manager for the president's re-election efforts, in a statement said Biden had kept his promise to be the "most pro-worker and pro-union president in the history of the United States.

"He’s lived up to that promise: fighting not just for keeping manufacturing jobs here in the United States, but also boosting American steel and buying American, creating more economic opportunity across the country," she wrote.

Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy is a White House Correspondent for USA TODAY. You can follow her on X @SwapnaVenugopal

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden wins steelworkers endorsement after opposing Nippon Steel sale