Nippon Steel’s acquisition of United States Steel would strengthen economic security ties between the U.S. and Japan and help counter China’s dominance in steel-making, according to a senior Japanese ruling party lawmaker.

The $14.1 billion deal would clearly be a win-win for both companies and both economies, said Akira Amari, a former minister known for his industrial policy expertise. He was speaking two weeks after U.S. President Joe Biden came out against the merger.

"This deal would be a symbol of Japan-U.S. cooperation as allies because we would be able to confront China’s rising technological capability,” Amari said in an interview in Tokyo on Friday. "This would be better for our economic security.”