Korean biz delegation builds up private-sector alliance with US legislators, officials

2022.06.24 09:51:15 | 2022.06.24 09:53:07

Koo Ja-yeol, chief of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and LS Group (fourth from left), and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (fifth from left) are shaking hands. [Photo provided by KITA] 이미지 확대

Koo Ja-yeol, chief of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and LS Group (fourth from left), and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (fifth from left) are shaking hands. [Photo provided by KITA]

A group of South Korean businessmen have had a series of meetings with American lawmakers and government officials in Washington to cement private-sector ties in supply chains around semiconductor, battery and steel industries.

The delegation led by Koo Ja-yeol, chief of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and LS Group, made a two-day visit to the United States from Wednesday to address supply chain uncertainties and broaden economic exchanges, KITA said in a press release on Thursday.

Officials from 13 large Korean companies that operate in the U.S., including LG, SK hynix, Hyundai Motor, SeAH Steel and Exicon were among the delegation.

In the first-day meeting with U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, R-TX, and Bill Hagerty, R-TN on Wednesday, Koo requested regulatory and administrative support to ensure timely staffing and infrastructure for Korean companies to facilitate their investment as supply chain partners, according to KITA.

Texas and Tennessee are hosts to multibillion-dollar manufacturing facilities of Korea thanks to their business-friendly systems. Samsung Electronics is building additional facilities In Austin, Texas, while LG Energy Solutions is operating a battery plant in Tennessee.

In the following day’s meeting with Alex Padilla, D-CA, Peter Harrell and Melanie Nakagawa, senior directors at the White House National Security Council, and Sameera Fazili, a deputy director of the National Economic Council, Koo stressed the synergistic benefits from bilateral cooperation, raising the need to strengthen supply chain resiliency through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and deepen the level of cooperation in the fields of digital transformation, clean energy and decarbonization.

The Korean businessmen also attended a session hosted by the Congressional Study Group on Korea (CSGK), where they were joined by six members of the Congress, including Reps. Young Kim, R-CA and Ami Bera, D-CA, to discuss ways to promote cooperation in bilateral trade and investment.

By Han Woo-ram and Minu Kim

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