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S. Korea, U.S. trade officials hold talks to boost economic ties

Diplomacy 10:15 December 16, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 16 (Yonhap) -- Senior trade officials from South Korea and the United States discussed ways to deepen the two allies' economic ties, the industry ministry said Thursday.

First Vice Industry Minister Park Jin-kyu held talks with Jose W. Fernandez, U.S. undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, who arrived in Seoul the previous night for a three-day visit.

The two officials assessed the progress of a series of recent discussions between the two countries on ways to enhance mutual ties in core industries and agreed to continue close cooperation in solving global challenges, including the supply strain and carbon neutrality.

Last month, South Korean Trade Minister Moon Sung-wook visited Washington to talk with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on issues ranging from supply chain resiliency to setting global standards for key industrial sectors.

Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez (4th from L) and First Vice Industry Minister Park Jin-kyu (5th from L) attend the fifth ROK-U.S. Joint Public-Private Economic Forum in Seoul on Dec. 16, 2021. (Yonhap)

Another agenda item for Thursday's discussions included the "Indo-Pacific economic framework," which the U.S. has been exploring with its trade partners to define "shared objectives around trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply chain resiliency and decarbonization and clean energy" and other areas of shared interest.

Park asked his counterpart to help create friendly business environments for South Korean companies doing business in the U.S., the ministry said. He also urged the U.S. government to revise the Section 232 tariff rules on Seoul's steel exports.

Upon arrival at the airport, Fernandez told Yonhap News Agency that South Korea and the U.S. have good relations in economy and politics, and his trip aims to find ways to further deepen bilateral ties.

On Friday, Fernandez is expected to meet with Second Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-moon for the sixth annual Senior Economic Dialogue, to further discuss cooperation on global supply chains, infrastructure, COVID-19 vaccines, climate change and energy.

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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