Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Insun, with Jose W. Fernandez, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment of the U.S. Department of State, co-hosted the 8th ROK-U.S. Senior Economic Dialogue (SED) in Seoul on Wednesday, January 31. This is the first official bilateral meeting since her appointment as the Vice Minister.
※ (ROK Participants) Kim Jin-dong, Director-General for Bilateral Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA); and officials from MOFA, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF), and the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) / (U.S. Participants) Ambassador to the ROK Philip Goldberg; Robert Koepcke, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Japan, Korea, and Mongolia, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Department of State; and officials from the Department of State (DoS), the Department of Commerce (DoC), the Department of Energy (DoE), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
At today's Dialogue, the two sides discussed cooperation on building resilient supply chains, including the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the CHIPS and Science Act, the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP), and the Early Warning System, as well as cooperation on global issues spanning development, infrastructure, and climate change.
Vice Minister Kang appreciated the close communication between Korea and the U.S. regarding the implementation of the IRA and the CHIPS and Science Act, and reiterated the position of the Korean industries, based on the ROK government's official comments submitted regarding the proposed guidance on the IRA's Foreign Entity of Concern (FEOC) released on December 1, 2023, and requested cooperation towards a reasonable set of final guidance which takes into account the realities of the supply chains.
Vice Minister Kang also emphasized that Korean companies are committed to investing in the U.S. to create good jobs and strengthen supply chains, and asked the U.S. administration to ensure that Korean companies receive the investment tax credits and subsidies which correspond to their committed investments as soon as possible.
The two sides agreed to work together to diversify the global supply chain of critical minerals, including graphite, mainly under the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP), and decided to consult closely through channels such as the ROK-U.S.-Mongolia trilateral critical minerals dialogue, which was launched in June last year. In addition, the two sides reviewed the progress of the supply chain Early Warning System pilot in the ROK and the U.S. overseas diplomatic missions, and exchanged views on how to advance the ROK-U.S.-Japan trilateral cooperation, which was agreed upon at last year's Camp David Trilateral Summit.
Meanwhile, the two sides discussed ways to cooperate under the two governments' Indo-Pacific Strategies in areas such as bridging the digital divide and responding to climate change in the Indo-Pacific region, including Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Vice Minister Kang introduced the Korean government's efforts to achieve carbon neutrality and clean energy transition, and asked the U.S. to join the ROK government's Carbon Free Energy (CFE) Initiative.
As the importance of economic security comes to the fore, with the convergence of economy, security, and technology, the two sides expressed their satisfaction that the SED has become a platform for strengthening bilateral strategic cooperation and achieving substantive deliverables. Both sides agreed to continue coordination on the detailed plan and agenda for the 9th SED, which will be held in the U.S.