USTR in S.Korea for talks on supply chains, trade pact


US Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai arrived in South Korea on Thursday for talks on pending trade issues such as supply chains for key components and steel tariffs.

Tai’s four-day visit marked the first time in 10 years that a top US trade official has visited South Korea, reports Yonhap News Agency.

She is slated to meet South Korean Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo on Friday for the joint committee meeting of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and to have separate talks with Labour Minister An Kyung-duk on workers’ rights and related trade policy.

On Saturday, she will have a meeting with female leaders from public and private sectors before leaving for India the following day, according to her office.

Key agenda at the Tai-Yeo meeting includes how to boost bilateral cooperation in global supply chains and tariffs on exports of Korean-made steel and aluminium.

Seoul and Washington have agreed to work more closely to ensure the resilience of supply chains for key components, including semiconductors, following a global supply shortage of chips and other major industrial items.

Tai will “meet with government officials and stakeholders to discuss the enduring US commitment to the Indo-Pacific region and to strengthen trade and economic relationships with key allies and partners”, the office of the USTR added.