April 25, 2023
Suzanne P. Clark
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Kim Byong Joon
Chairman, Federation of Korean Industries
U.S. Secretary of Commerce, United States
Yoon Suk Yeol
President, Republic of Korea
With 2023 marking the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) Alliance, the partnership between the United States and the Republic of Korea remains as critical as ever. Though the two nations are facing shared global challenges, they also have shared economic opportunities that, if seized, can bring prosperity to both nations.
To discuss the ongoing strategic partnership between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea, leaders from both nations joined forces at the U.S.-Korea Business Forum, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They shared insights on the business and economic successes of the U.S.-Korea relationship, as well as key opportunities that lie ahead.
“Over the past seven decades, the U.S.-Korea relationship has transformed from a security alliance into a flourishing global partnership promoting peace and prosperity around the world, underpinned by our shared values like democracy and free enterprise," Suzanne P. Clark, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said.
Today’s Complex Challenges Require Bilateral Cooperation
Kim Byong Joon, Chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries, stressed the importance of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement in the economic growth of both nations — and that in today’s world, “the bilateral cooperation [must] move to the next level.”
“Advanced technology cooperation must be expanded,” Kim explained. “Both Korea and the U.S. … have been exemplary in cooperation in the fields of semiconductors and batteries. We hope to see such cooperation in AI, nuclear energy, [biology] and aerospace, and other areas of cutting-edge technology.”
The chairman also encouraged the U.S.-Korea alliance to “look beyond the Korean Peninsula, encompass a more global perspective, and contribute more.”
“The COVID pandemic, supply chain [disruptions], [and] climate change are some of the transnational and complex challenges that one nation cannot overcome alone,” said Kim. “This calls for a level up in bilateral cooperation.”
The U.S. Is Invested in Its Partnership with the Republic of Korea
According to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, leaders are excited about the strength of the U.S.-Korea relationship and potential areas of growth within it.
“The best is yet to come because this relationship is formed on a foundation of shared values, a passion for innovation and technology, and 70 years of strategic alliance,” she said. “We are focused on all the investment that is to come between the United States and Korea in semiconductors, electric vehicles, batteries, broadband, automotives, and other areas of information technology and AI.”
Raimondo added the U.S. government will continue to do its part through the CHIPS Act as well as other investments in infrastructure, job training, talent, and research and development.
“We will do all of that in partnership with you in the private sector to crowd in your capital, protect your IP, and make sure that you could continue to flourish and compete — which is what we need you to do,” she emphasized.
A Future-Oriented U.S.-ROK Alliance Can Help Both Countries Grow
Yoon Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea, noted how the U.S.-ROK Alliance “has developed into the most exemplary alliance across the globe.”
“[It] goes beyond a simple security alliance [and] creates mutual benefits in various aspects of the economy,” Yoon explained. “The development was underpinned by the business leaders of our two countries who share a firm belief in the value of freedom and solidarity.”
However, the President noted, both the U.S. and the Republic of Korea are currently facing multifaceted challenges — ones that are best addressed together.
“What started as a military and security alliance should evolve into a supply chain and future-oriented innovative technology alliance, one in which our two countries grow and act together,” he said. “The combination of core technologies from the United States and the Republic of Korea’s advanced manufacturing capabilities will create enormous synergies that will benefit both countries.”
Yoon closed with a message of appreciation for the ongoing relationship between the two countries, and optimism for what lies ahead.
“The Republic of Korea and the United States have been painting a wonderful rough sketch together for the past 70 years,” said Yoon. “The next 70 years together will be a journey of filling the rough sketch with well-matched colors.”