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China Anshan says still committed to U.S. investment

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corp said it was committed to pushing forward with a U.S. steel project, a day after an executive of its listed unit said the deal was on hold due to opposition from U.S. lawmakers.

“Anshan’s goal to invest in the U.S. market remains unchanged,” the company said in a statement to Reuters on Friday. “(Anshan) is committed to working closely with our U.S. partners to move forward with the … project.”

The announcement peeved U.S. lawmakers opposed to the deal. On Thursday, they had cheered Anshan’s apparent decision to back away from its investment in a Mississippi steel mill.

“We’re disappointed but not surprised at the latest about-face on the Anshan investment in the U.S. steel market. China has a history of inconsistent statements,” Representative Tim Murphy, vice chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus, said in a statement.

“This most recent revelation is troubling but we are steadfast in our commitment to protect U.S. steel manufacturers and our national security from being undermined by China,” the Pennsylvania Republican said.

Chen Ming, vice chairman of Anshan’s Angang Steel, said on Thursday that his company’s parent had suspended its plans to invest in a U.S. steel plant being built by Steel Development Co because the plan faced limited prospects for success.

Anshan said in May that it had agreed to take a 14 percent stake in a $175 million rebar facility under construction in Amory, Mississippi by the U.S. start-up.