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FKI Leadership’s Outreach in the U.S.

  • Author: America & Europe Cooperation Team
  • Date: 2024-05-16
  • Views: 224

 FKI Chairman Jin Roy Ryu Meets with Key U.S. Opinion Leaders, Practicing Korea-U.S. Private Diplomacy

•  Chairman Ryu traveled to the U.S. to convey the Korean business community's position and discuss trade and investment issues ahead of the U.S. presidential election

•  Established “One Team Korea” with KITA to organize correspondents' meeting and work closely together

•  Met with U.S. senators and representatives from the Korea Caucus to convey the plight of Korean companies

•  Visited the No. 1 international economic think tank, Peterson Institute, to propose favorable policies for Korea

  Jin Roy Ryu, chairman of The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), traveled to Washington, D.C., six months ahead of the upcoming U.S. presidential election, to conduct private diplomacy such as meeting with U.S. political and economic figures and think tanks to convey the views of the Korean business community. 

FKI Chairman travels to the U.S. to express the views of Korean companies ahead of the election

  Chairman Ryu visited the U.S. from May 14 to 16 (local time) and met with political and business opinion leaders ahead of the presidential election to convey the Korean business community’s position and views on trade and investment-related issues. Chairman Ryu held a press conference with local correspondents, where he was joined by Jin Sik Yoon, chairman of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), who was also visiting the U.S. As "One Team Korea," the leaders of KITA and FKI shared roles for the outreach in the U.S., such as FKI meeting with members of the Congressional Korean Caucus, and KITA meeting with members of Congress regarding professional visas for Koreans (Partner with Korea Act).

  "The U.S. has become our number one export destination and largest investment destination and is a partner that requires close cooperation in future industries such as semiconductors, batteries, AI, and aerospace," said Ryu, at the U.S. correspondents' meeting on the 14th, the first event on his U.S. itinerary. "With the U.S. presidential election approaching in November, policies that could have a major impact on the Korean economy are being discussed," he said, "and we hope to show key U.S. stakeholders that Korea is a key partner in helping the U.S. economy, so as to avoid any unexpected impact on the Korean economy."

Chairman Ryu meets U.S politicians who support Korea and asks for unchanged government support for Korean companies investing in the U.S.

  On May 15, Ryu met with members of the Congressional Korea Caucus, a bipartisan group in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, to highlight the contributions of Korean companies to the U.S. economy, including large-scale investment in the U.S., and asked that the next administration continue its support for such Korean companies. Ryu met with Senate Korea Caucus Member Brian Schatz (D-HI) followed by House Korea Caucus Chair Mike Kelly (R-PA). 

  During the meetings, Ryu said that the total amount of investment announced by major Korean companies in the U.S. over the six-year period from 2018 to 2023 totaled more than KRW 150 trillion, with KRW 71.8 trillion (White House data) since the Biden administration took office alone, emphasizing that this was the result of Korean companies responding quickly to U.S. industrial policies such as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the CHIPS Act. He also reminded them that Korea is a key pillar of the U.S. economy, ranking first in job creation1  among direct investors in the U.S. in 2023, and asked for help to ensure that Korean companies are not disadvantaged in terms of subsidies or regulations so that their investments can lead to success in the U.S. economy and bear mutually beneficial results for both countries.

1 Share of job creation by countries investing in the U.S. in 2023 (according to the Reshoring Initiative): 1st: Korea (17%), 2nd: UK (15%), 3rd: Germany (11%), 4th: China (9%), 5th: Japan (9%), 6th: Canada (9%)

Meets with leading U.S. think tanks and calls for industrial policies that minimize harm to Korean companies

  In the morning on May 15, Chairman Ryu met with Adam S. Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the world's leading international economics think tank, and emphasized the need to jointly combat the spread of protectionism and continue cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. "The global spread of protectionism is a major threat to the global economic environment, especially to Korean companies that have driven growth through exports," Ryu said. He asked for policy initiatives to minimize the harms of protectionism, including international cooperation to remove indiscriminate trade barriers in place in many countries, as well as for cooperation so that the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), launched by the Biden administration for supply chain and security cooperation, can continue smoothly for successful regional cooperation.

Meets with CEO of BRT to discuss global supply chain collaboration

  On May 15, Chairman Jin Roy Ryu met with Joshua Bolten, CEO of Business Roundtable (BRT), an association of large U.S. corporations, to discuss the outlook for China policy after the U.S. presidential election and Korea-U.S. supply chain cooperation. "The U.S.-China conflict has become a constant, not a variable," Ryu said, adding that the aftermath of the U.S.-China conflict directly affects the global supply chain, which in turn affects Korean companies. Ryu suggested that the FKI and BRT explore joint projects to respond to U.S. policy on China and global supply chain issues. In particular, Ryu emphasized that in terms of supply chain cooperation in the high-tech and digital industries, Korea is an optimal partner for the U.S as it is a powerhouse in high-tech strategic industries, and that supply chain cooperation between Korean and U.S. companies is essential to reduce dependence on specific countries for materials such as semiconductors and battery materials and raw materials and to prepare for geopolitical uncertainties. Mr. Ryu also called on BRT to speak out against policies that could hinder supply chain cooperation between the two countries.

  "As Korean companies have emerged as key players in the U.S. economy through large-scale new investments and hiring, the environment is ripe for them to voice their opinions more actively," said Chairman Jin Roy Ryu as he concluded his outreach in the U.S. "We will continue to communicate closely with key stakeholders in the U.S. to help create an environment that protects the interests of Korean companies and enhances their competitiveness."

[Attached] Overview of FKI Leadership’s Outreach in the U.S.