Biden promises union workers to keep US Steel 'American-owned, American-operated'

Kyle Mazza/Anadolu via Getty Images

(PITTSBURGH) -- President Joe Biden on Wednesday continued his 2024 campaign swing through Pennsylvania, speaking to the United Steelworkers union as he proposed tripling tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum and denouncing the sale of Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel, promising union workers he will keep it a “totally American company.”

“U.S. Steel has been an iconic American company for more than a century, and it should remain a totally American company," he said in Pittsburgh. "American-owned, American-operated by American union steel workers, the best in the world. And it’s -- that's going to happen, I promise you.”

The acquisition by Japan’s Nippon Steel took one more step last week when U.S. Steel shareholders approved the $14.9 billion sale, despite opposition from the United Steelworkers union.

The president also accused the Chinese government of “cheating” by overproducing steel and subsidizing the cost, leading to “unfairly low prices” in the global market.

“The prices are unfairly low because China's steel companies don’t need to worry about making a profit because the Chinese governor subsidizes them so heavily, they're not competing, they’re cheating. They’re cheating. And we've seen the damage here in America,” he said.

Biden promised the crowd that he would not let American workers lose their jobs due to the import of Chinese steel, which he noted happened in the early 2,000s in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

While Biden courts the critical voting bloc, his likely GOP presidential opponent -- former President Donald Trump -- faced a criminal trial in a Manhattan courtroom, which Biden made a veiled reference to in his remarks.

“Under my predecessor -- who's busy right now -- Pennsylvania lost 275,000 jobs. I mean, just look at the facts,” Biden said.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at 6:19PM by Justin Gomez, ABC News Permalink