Nippon Steel intends to pursue its proposed acquisition of U.S. Steel and wants its "deep roots" in the United States to be recognized, its new president said — remarks that come after U.S. President Joe Biden expressed opposition to the deal.

The Japanese firm has agreed to buy U.S. Steel for roughly $15 billion but the deal faces an uphill battle to approval in a U.S. election year.

The White House sees steel as critical to national security and Biden said last month that U.S. Steel should remain domestically owned. His opponent in the November presidential vote, former President Donald Trump, has promised to block the deal if he is re-elected.