Nippon Steel shrugs off Trump's vow to block US Steel deal

Japan's largest steel maker has pushed back against former US President Donald Trump's vow to block its acquisition of US Steel, saying the deal will benefit both countries.

Nippon Steel Executive Vice President Mori Takahiro said on Wednesday there was no change to the schedule for completing the 14-billion-dollar buyout by September.

Trump, the frontrunner in the Republican presidential nomination race, said last month that he would ''block it instantaneously" if he were elected.

Mori said it is not clear whether the former president ''fully understands'' the content of the deal. He expressed confidence that Trump will change his view once he realizes it will be beneficial for US industries.

Mori added that the acquisition will become more of a political issue as November approaches. He said Nippon Steel wants to find common ground with the United Steelworkers union as quickly as possible.

Nippon Steel announced in December that it had agreed to make US Steel a wholly-owned subsidiary. The acquisition would create the world's third-largest steelmaker by volume.

The planned buyout has drawn criticism from the American steelworkers' union. The White House has said the bid deserves "serious scrutiny" on national security grounds.