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White House official says S. Korean firms help form supply chain ecosystem, create decent jobs

By Yonhap

Published : Feb. 28, 2024 - 09:29

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South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul (Left) talks with Lael Brainard, director of the National Economic Council, at the White House in Washington on Tuesday. (Foreign ministry) South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul (Left) talks with Lael Brainard, director of the National Economic Council, at the White House in Washington on Tuesday. (Foreign ministry)

A senior White House official on Tuesday portrayed South Korean enterprises operating in the United States as helping foster a robust supply chain ecosystem and create decent jobs, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

Lael Brainard, the director of the National Economic Council, made the point during a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul at the White House. Cho is in Washington for a meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken set for Wednesday.

"Director Brainard said that our businesses operating in the US and US enterprises in South Korea have made big contributions to forming a more robust ecosystem of supply chains and creating decent jobs in the US while calling for continued bilateral cooperation," the ministry said in a press release.

Cho asked for the US' government's cooperation to ensure that South Korean enterprises can get treatment and incentives "commensurate with the scale of their investment in the US and the level of their contributions."

He was apparently referring to US grants to be awarded to chipmakers under a program to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the United States.

The minister also stressed that cooperation between Seoul and Washington is "more important than at any time" to cope with multiple global challenges together and strengthen economic security.

Brainard assessed that the two countries have been working together to respond to political and economic uncertainties that have deepened across the globe, as their alliance has been expanding into realms of economic security and cutting-edge technologies beyond its traditional security focus, according to the ministry.

Separately, Cho met with Kathleen Stephens, former president of the Korea Economic Institute of America, and Scott Snyder, the incoming KEI president, to discuss the alliance and global geopolitical situations.

During the meeting, Cho stressed that South Korea will continuously expand its role as a "global pivotal state" to contribute to global freedom, peace and prosperity," and that toward that end, it will work closely with Washington and Tokyo, and strengthen solidarity with the Group of Seven.

Cho also called on them to continue to play a role in enhancing the US public's awareness of the importance of the relationship between South Korea and the US.

On Saturday, Cho met with Thomas Byrne, the president of the Korea Society. (Yonhap)