U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai was in Seoul recently for the first time in 10 years, the very first trade official under the Biden administration to visit South Korea.
She met a series of Korean officials and business leaders over the past few days on trade and supply chain issues.
It was part of her trip to the region, which also involved Japan and India, as the Biden administration looks to bolster its partnership with its allies.
For more, we have in the studio Professor of Economics, Shin Sang-hyup from Kyung Hee University.
Professor Shin, thanks for joining us.
USTR Tai and South Korean Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo held a meeting on the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
They agreed to bolster their partnership on the global supply chain, technology, digital trade, and climate.
In particular, on resilience of supply chains for semiconductors.
What can we expect as a follow-up to this meeting?
Also, during the meeting, South Korea expressed concerns over the U.S. Section 232 tariffs on steel.
Seoul has been asking Washington to increase the import quota for Korean steel following a recent U.S.-EU deal to roll back tariffs on some European steel and aluminum.
What are prospects on this issue?
All these come as Seoul and Washington bolster their alliance and partnership apparently against China’s growing dominance.
What would be South Korea's strategy between the world's two superpowers?
Recently, reports say South Korea's SK Hynix might have to halt its plan to bring in extreme ultraviolet lithography equipment at its semiconductor factory in Wuxi, China because the U.S. does not want the equipment to be brought in as the technology could be used for military reasons.
Is there possibility that Washington expands the list of items banned from export to China?
While in Seoul, Tai met over the weekend with high-level officials from South Korea's conglomerates, including Samsung, Hyundai and LG Energy Solution.
And also over the weekend, Samsung Electronics said its Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong met White House officials and key U.S. Congress members for talks on the semiconductor supply chain.
Samsung is likely to soon announce the location of its second foundry plant in the U.S.
Are we expecting more active private investment between the two countries?
That was Professor Shin Sang-hyup from Kyung Hee University. Thank you for your insights.