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U.S. Steel stockholders approve proposed sale to Japanese company

U.S. Steel worker attends joint session of Congress
U.S. Steel worker attends joint session of Congress 02:30

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- U.S. Steel's stockholders voted to approve a merger with a Japanese company

After a special meeting on Friday, the company announced that its stockholders "overwhelmingly" approved the proposed transaction with Japan's Nippon Steel. U.S. Steel CEO and president David B. Burritt called it "a clear endorsement." 

"This transaction truly represents the best path forward for all of U. S. Steel's stakeholders – union and non-union employees, customers, communities and stockholders – and for the United States and our home in Pennsylvania," Burritt said in a news release. "By creating the best steelmaker in the world, we will have a stronger company to sustain our talented employees and fulfill all commitments to them, including all of the obligations under the agreements in place with our unions."

Burritt promises the sale will make U.S. Steel and the domestic steel industry stronger "in the face of unfair competition from China," but the deal has raised questions from elected officials. President Joe Biden last month questioned the proposed acquisition, which is worth nearly $15 billion. 

"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," the president said in a statement.   

Pennsylvania's two Democratic senators, Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman, have both voiced opposition to the sale. Fetterman lives across the street from U.S. Steel's Edgar Thomson plant in Braddock. In a statement Friday, Fetterman said the conversation should be about steelworkers. 

"I'm encouraged to see Nippon is making commitments to preserving jobs and investing in Pennsylvania. They are coming to the table with these real commitments because the steelworkers and USW are putting their feet to the fire. But it's still not enough - that's why I will continue to stand firm behind them to protect Pennsylvania jobs," Fetterman said in part.

Burritt says U.S. Steel will keep its name and remain headquartered in Pittsburgh. More than 98% of the shares voted in favor at the special meeting, representing about 71% of the shares of U.S. Steel common stock. 

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