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Biden, SK chief to hold virtual meeting on July 26

US President Joe Biden participates virtually in a meeting with CEOs and labor leaders regarding the Chips Act, in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House, in Washington, D.C., on Monday. (AFP-Yonhap)
US President Joe Biden participates virtually in a meeting with CEOs and labor leaders regarding the Chips Act, in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House, in Washington, D.C., on Monday. (AFP-Yonhap)
US President Joe Biden and SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won will hold a virtual meeting on Tuesday (US time) to discuss South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate’s spending and hiring plans in the US, according to the White House on Monday.

“The president will virtually meet with the chairman and principal owner of the Republic of Korea conglomerate SK Group to discuss the company’s robust investments in American manufacturing and jobs,” the White House said, referring to South Korea by its official name.

“The meeting will highlight the Biden manufacturing boom, creating new, good-paying jobs and making technology to tackle the climate crisis, and showcase the strength of the United States as a top destination for business investment,” it added.

Their upcoming meeting comes after Biden held meetings with Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong and Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Euisun upon his visit to Seoul in May.

Both Samsung and Hyundai Motor recently announced multi-billion dollar plans to expand production facilities in the US, prompting speculation that SK’s new spending plan in the US may be imminent as well.

SK Group owns SK hynix, the world’s second-largest memory chipmaker, and SK On, the electric vehicle battery maker that is investing heavily in the burgeoning US market in partnership with local carmakers.

In a move to bolster its manufacturing prowess in the high-tech industry, the Biden administration is offering hefty incentives to attract global tech companies like chipmakers and carmakers that also create more quality jobs.

Tuesday’s virtual meeting also will be attended by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

According to SK officials, Chey is currently staying in the US to attend Wednesday’s ceremony celebrating the completion of a new Korean War memorial monument in Washington D.C. next week.

The Wall of Remembrance bears the names of 36,634 US troops and 7,174 members of the Korean Augmentation to the US Army who died during the 1950-53 conflict.

Government and business leaders of both countries are expected to join the event, with last-minute discussions still underway regarding an in-person visit by Biden, according to news reports.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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