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We urge you to summon the courage to do the right thing. Declare whether you will exercise your presidential authority to prohibit or suspend the sale of U.S. Steel to Nippon.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators JD Vance (R-OH), Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to President Biden to demand he take action to block the foreign acquisition of U.S. Steel by Nippon Steel.

While President Biden has repeatedly stated his opposition to the foreign takeover of one of America’s most iconic companies, he has yet to formally block the deal using the authorities he holds. By contrast, President Trump unilaterally suspended or prohibited more foreign transactions than any other president, and has made clear he would block the sale of U.S. Steel. 

The letter reads, in part: 

For weeks you have maintained that “it is vital for [U.S. Steel] to remain an American steel company that is domestically owned and operated.” You have since asserted that it “should remain an American company . . . American-owned and American-operated.” These statements amount to wishes, not declarations, and belie your authority as President of the United States.

By law you possess the authority to block the sale of U.S. Steel unilaterally under the Defense Production Act, 50 U.S.C. § 4565(d), or the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. § 1702(a), when a national emergency is declared. You may exercise these powers now. Pronouncements about what you consider “vital” or what you think “should” happen to U.S. Steel are worthless unless you act to keep U.S. Steel under American control.

The full text of the lawmakers’ letter can be viewed here and below: