April 27, 2023
SEOUL – The US Chips Act, signed into law in August to reduce America’s reliance on foreign-made semiconductors by increasing domestic production, is a win-win to both the US and South Korea, US President Joe Biden said Wednesday.
“It’s creating jobs in South Korea, not just SK but with Samsung and in other industries,” Biden said during a press conference following a summit with President Yoon Suk Yeol, referring to the world’s largest and second-largest memory chipmakers, Samsung and SK hynix — all based in South Korea.
It is in America’s “overwhelming interests” to see Korean companies succeed and Korea’s economy grow, Biden added, without elaborating how the subsidy plan has led to job growth there. “We’d like to see them grow and I mean that sincerely,” he said.
President Yoon said he welcomed the two countries cooperation on chips, electric vehicles and batteries, noting “President Biden has said no special support and considerations will be spared for Korean companies’ investment and business activities.”
The two leaders agreed to closely work together on supply chain constraints and advance technology, according to Yoon. During the conference, he did not refer to any loosening of the subsidy rules, something many Korean business leaders hoped to see delivered during Yoon’s state visit.
Companies receiving such federal subsidies under the law have to share part of their profits, one of many requirements US allies, including Seoul, say needs some kind of easing because they are discriminatory.