South Korean Industry Minister Moon Sung-wook will visit the US today to discuss semiconductor supply chains and steel tariffs. The
South Korean Industry Minister Moon Sung-wook will visit the US today to discuss semiconductor supply chains and steel tariffs.
The meeting comes just days after South Korea’s leading semiconductor firms—Samsung Electronics and SK Hyinx—complied with the US Department of Commerce’s request for information on their operations. Moon will meet with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, with whom he is expected to examine and secure this data.
The other topic of the meeting will be steel tariffs. South Korea exports substantial amounts of steel to the US but has concerns that a recent trade deal which ended US tariffs on EU-produced steel will result in European steel crowding out Korean steel in US markets. South Korea is limited to a quota of 70% of historical steel exports to the US under a Trump-era deal.
Moon will likely hold out cooperation with the US’ semiconductor industry as leverage to secure a steel quota on par with the EU’s. If South Korea participates in efforts to reduce the carbon intensity of steel and pressures Samsung—one of two firms capable of manufacturing complex chips—to aid American chipmaker Intel in its planned foundry expansion, the US will likely grant the increased quota.
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