United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Republic of Korea Minister of Trade, Industry, and Energy Chang-Yang Lee (“the Participants”) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch the United States – Korea Supply Chain and Commercial Dialogue (“SCCD”) on May 21, 2022. The SCCD aims to strengthen the international competitiveness of both U.S. and Korean industries and foster collaboration between U.S. and Korean companies as they explore mutually beneficial business opportunities in the United States, Korea, and global markets. Following the establishment of the SCCD, the Participants have held Working Group (“WG”) meetings on Manufacturing Resilience and Dual-Use Export Controls, led at the Deputy Assistant Secretary/Director-General level, to promote the common interests of both countries, with a particular focus on advanced industry supply chains.
Against this backdrop, the Participants co-hosted the inaugural ministerial meeting of the SCCD on April 27, 2023, in Washington, DC, at which the Participants took stock of the arrangements reached by the WGs and reiterated their shared resolve for further discussions as a means of improving the global competitiveness of their private sectors and resilience of their industries. In particular, the Participants agreed to strengthen their efforts under the SCCD to foster supply chain resilience in the field of Semiconductors, collaborate on Robotics & Additive Manufacturing, and increase Export Controls cooperation, among others. To this end, the Participants intend to sustain their comprehensive partnership in the below ways.
Section 1: Semiconductors
The Participants recognize the contributions of bilateral investments in semiconductor manufacturing to supply chain resiliency, as well as the importance of building a strong supply chain. With a view to achieving their shared objectives of reinforcing the global competitiveness of semiconductor industries and strengthening supply chain resilience in their respective countries and, as appropriate, with other like-minded nations, the Participants intend to undertake cooperation in the following three areas as global leaders and close partners in the semiconductor industry:
- The Participants intend to continue close consultations on the implementation of government incentives and policies to support the growth of the semiconductor industry in our countries. The Participants will continue discussions on the requirements and opportunities of the CHIPS Act and Korean incentives for interested private sector entities to minimize uncertainties of corporate investments and business burdens. The Participants jointly share the desire to create favorable conditions for investment from Korean and U.S. firms in both the Korean and U.S. semiconductor ecosystems.
- The Participants intend to establish, within the SCCD, a forum for discussions to connect interested public and private research institutions, including the to-be-established National Semiconductor Technology Centers of both countries, relevant industry associations, universities, government agencies, and companies. This forum will serve to identify opportunities for collaboration, including potential research and development (R&D) projects, based on each country’s strengths in the semiconductor industry. The forum may consider mutually beneficial opportunities for technology demonstrations and personnel exchanges to strengthen the innovation performance by businesses, universities, and research centers from both countries. Potential topics of collaboration may occur in the fields of leading-edge and next-generation semiconductors; advanced packaging, including heterogeneous integration; and advanced materials, parts, and devices.
- The Participants will work together to bolster the resilience of global supply chains in the semiconductor industry and engage in close discussions on their respective governments’ semiconductor industry programs and potential supply chain risk factors.
Section 2: Export Controls
The Dual-Use Export Controls WG under the SCCD convened in November 2022, and March 2023, with meaningful exchanges of views on export control issues of mutual interest. Going forward, the Participants will undertake cooperation in the following areas, and others as appropriate, to further strengthen their cooperation on export control policies:
- The Participants will strive to closely cooperate on advanced semiconductors to implement necessary measures that protect national security while minimizing disruptions to global semiconductor supply chains, maintaining viability of semiconductor industries, and encouraging technological advancement.
- The Participants will continue their efforts to coordinate the implementation of export control measures in line with other allies in response to the situation in Ukraine.
Section 3: Robotics
With a view to establishing cooperation in the robotics industry, the Participants will undertake cooperation in the following four areas:
- The Participants will conduct WG activities, beginning with the first Korea – U.S. Robot Industry Showcase in July 2023, to share their respective efforts to support the robotics industry; promote networks between companies, including suppliers and buyers; and promote mutual investment.
- The Participants will strive to explore opportunities for collaboration at trade events, conferences, and international fora.
- The Participants will strengthen cooperation on standards and certifications, including jointly exploring international standards activities pertaining to emerging robotic technologies, such as outdoor delivery robots and collaborative robots.
- The Participants will explore ways to collaborate on the promotion and innovation of commercially viable robotics technologies, based on shared priorities and market demand.
Section 4: Additive Manufacturing
With a view to establishing a partnership for cooperation in the additive manufacturing sector, the Participants will undertake cooperation in the following areas:
- The Participants will conduct working group activities, beginning with the first Korea – U.S. Additive Manufacturing Industry Showcase in May or June 2023, to share their respective efforts to support the additive manufacturing industry; promote networks between companies, including suppliers and buyers; and promote mutual private sector investment in the sector.
- The Participants will strive to support private sector business opportunities by exploring opportunities for collaboration at trade events, conferences, and international fora.
- The Participants will strengthen cooperation on standards and certifications, including jointly exploring international standards activities pertaining to emerging additive manufacturing technologies.
- The Participants will explore ways to collaborate on the promotion and innovation of private sector-led, commercially viable additive manufacturing technologies, based on shared priorities and market demand.
Keeping in mind the foregoing, the Participants will enhance their collaboration on Manufacturing Resilience and Export Controls by continuing to hold discussions under the respective WGs in the SCCD.
Additionally, the Participants hereby launch a new WG on the Digital Economy, and also charge their teams to work together to explore discussing upstream materials that include critical minerals and metals under existing SCCD WGs.
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