(Bloomberg) -- A Chinese state media outlet said Washington’s response to Nippon Steel Corp.’s proposed merger with an American steelmaker serves to show that the US is “the biggest threat to economic globalization.” 

China Daily said in an editorial late Tuesday that the US is drifting away from its long-held policy of openness to foreign trade and investment, and minimal government interference in the markets. It cited US officials’ opposition to the takeover of US Steel Corp., even as Nippon Steel has made pledges on job security and investments.

President Joe Biden has come out against the deal, saying US Steel Corp. must remain a domestically owned American firm, despite the risk of upsetting a key ally. The statement marks a rare presidential intervention in a transaction that outside an election year would have drawn less public scrutiny.

The Japanese government has refrained from commenting on the deal, while Nippon Steel has vowed to press ahead with its plans. 

“For a long time the US has painted itself as a defender of free trade and pointed an accusing finger at China for not allowing wider market access and providing a level playing field for foreign investors,” the China Daily said. 

“Yet the Nippon Steel merger, as well as a slew of restrictive policies that have been introduced to crack down on Chinese high-tech companies such as Huawei and TikTok, belie Washington’s claim,” the English-language paper said. 

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