July 6, 2022

South Korean and U.S business leaders during the 33rd Plenary Meeting of Korea-US & US-KOREA Business Councils have called for the protection of confidential business information. They have also urged to ensure the autonomy of the private sector as the post-COVID global supply chain is being realigned.

The event jointly held by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) and the US Chamber of Commerce, issues such as bilateral relations, climate change and building a resilient global supply chain were discussed.

The current chairman of the FKI, Huh Chang-soo, in the event’s opening speech called for “trilateral cooperation between South Korea, the US and Japan” to restore the global economic order disrupted by the pandemic.

The Seoul-based federation after signing a joint statement commented that both the countries have agreed the cooperation with shared values is necessary in key strategic fields such as semiconductors and electric vehicle batteries.

According to the councils, in a joint statement it was urged to promote coordination among allies and refrain from requesting sensitive business confidential trade information from like-minded countries as part of efforts to build a resilient and trusted supply chain.

Such a remark was made amid reports that the South Korean chipmakers Samsung Electronics and SK hynix have submitted semiconductor data to the US, excluding key trade secrets.

Other key topics discussed in the event –

• The group of business leaders also mentioned that business incentives should be provided to diversify the supply chain and foster investment and R&D providing flexibility for companies in like-minded.
• The group in order to accelerate the relationship between the two countries post post-COVID-19 recovery also called on the governments to remove trade-restrictive measures that are contrary to the letter and spirit US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).
• This also includes use of imports restrictions based on Section 232 of the US Trade Expansion Act, along with the Korean government’s restrictions on cloud services and regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
• The councils also mentioned climate goals and policies to be set through an open and consultative process with industry to ensure that they are achievable and do not harm the US and Korea’s long-term economic growth, energy security, and global competitiveness.