Thursday, June 30, 2022

US, South Korea sign agreement on supply chain, economic ties

Washington, May 21 The United States and South Korea have agreed to work more closely on important trade and supply-chain issues, the US Commerce Department announced on Saturday.

The statement said the establishment of a US-Korea supply chain and commercial dialogue “will foster cooperation and strengthen the international competitiveness of US and Korean industry.”

The announcement, which gave little detail about the scope or functioning of the new grouping, came after key officials from both countries and a roundtable led by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and her Korean counterpart Lee Chang-yang.

The US delegation is accompanying President Joe Biden on a five-day visit to Korea and Japan aimed at re-establishing the strained US-Asian economic partnership under former President Donald Trump.

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The US statement said the two countries recognized that “semiconductor, electric vehicles and batteries for electric vehicles, fuel cell and solar technology, and the digital economy will continue to transform our society and drive our shared economic prosperity.” ”

About 75 percent of the world’s semiconductor chips are produced in East Asia, and supply-chain issues, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, have resulted in severe shortages affecting major buyers, including the US auto industry.

The US and South Korea are important trade and investment partners. Korea is the sixth-largest US trading partner, and the US is Korea’s second-largest source of foreign direct investment.

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Korean business executives who attended Saturday’s meeting included leaders from Hyundai Motor Group, LG, Lotte Group, Naver, OCI, Samsung and SK Group; US companies represented include Applied Materials, Bloom Energy, GM Korea, Google, Lam Research, Qualcomm, Corning, and GE. AFP

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