Trade minister reaches out to US politicians, businesses over Japan’s export curbs

By Shin Ji-hye
  • Published : Jul 26, 2019 - 14:40
  • Updated : Jul 26, 2019 - 14:40

Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee warned that Tokyo’s trade measures will set a “risky precedent” while seeking cooperation from US politicians, think tanks and trade organizations over Japan’s export restrictions, the ministry said Friday.

During her visit to the US from Tuesday to Thursday, the trade minister met with US politicians, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, as well as think tanks, including the Heritage Foundation and Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee meets with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday in Washington to seek cooperation over Japan’s export curbs. (MOTIE)

Yoo also reached out to US electronics associations, including the Semiconductor Industry Association and the National Association of Manufacturers, which had sent a letter on Tuesday to both Korea and Japan calling for the prompt settlement of the trade dispute.

During talks with the politicians, think tanks and business experts, the senior official highlighted that Japan’s export restrictions are a “risky precedent,” saying Tokyo is using its technological dominance and trade dependency as a tool to solve political issues. Such measures may end up disrupting the global supply chain and destroying the international trade order, she told them, according to the ministry.

The trade minister said Japan’s export curbs have repercussions on the global chip industry, which has been suffering from slowing demand and market saturation. Since the announcement on July 1, DRAM prices have risen more than 20 percent due to concerns about inventory shortage.

“We will continue to seek dialogue with Japan to solve the issues promptly while forming a consensus with the international community, including the upcoming RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) talks,” Yoo said.

The US industry, meanwhile, has voiced concerns, defining Japan’s export curbs as “ambiguous” and a “one-sided” decision. Such measures could cause a collapse of the global supply chain, anonymous sources from the US industry were quoted by the ministry as saying.

By Shin Ji-hye (