Korea, U.S. agree to minimize investment uncertainties, business burdens

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Korea, U.S. agree to minimize investment uncertainties, business burdens

Lee Chang-yang, left, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, and Gina Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, pose for a photo during a ministerial meeting on supply chain held on Thursday in Washington. [MINISTRY OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND ENERGY]

Lee Chang-yang, left, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, and Gina Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, pose for a photo during a ministerial meeting on supply chain held on Thursday in Washington. [MINISTRY OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND ENERGY]

 
Korea and the United States agreed to “minimize uncertainties of corporate investments and business burdens” under the U.S. semiconductor incentive program, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Friday.
 
Yet no further details on the measures to reduce said uncertainties have been provided.
 
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Lee Chang-yang on Thursday held a meeting in Washington on supply chains in the wake of President Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit to the United States.
 
It was the first ministerial meeting under the U.S.-Korea Supply Chain and Commercial Dialogue which was established as a dialogue channel between the two countries in May last year during U.S. President Biden’s visit to Korea.
 
Lee and Raimondo issued a joint statement on Thursday as they agreed to strengthen efforts “to foster supply chain resilience” in semiconductor businesses, collaborate on robotics and additive manufacturing, and “increase Export Controls cooperation” in regard to the U.S. export restriction aimed at China.
 
The move followed rising concerns from Korean chipmakers over requirements in the incentive program under the U.S. Chips and Science Act, as well as the export curbs on advanced chip manufacturing technologies to China.
 
The U.S. government is demanding foreign chipmakers disclose sensitive business data, including yield rates, and share excess profits to receive subsidies under the U.S. Chips Act.
 
After Lee asked the U.S. Commerce Department to address the local chipmakers’ concerns, both parties agreed to “create favorable conditions” for semiconductor investments, according to the ministry.
 
Moreover, the Korean minister asked for “more fundamental measures” regarding the United States’ export restriction on China to ensure the stable operation of Korean chipmakers in the country.
 
Lee and Raimondo also agreed to minimize supply chain disruptions.
 
Last October, the Commerce Department mandated that companies acquire approval from the U.S. government to supply their factories in China with technologies for the making of DRAM memory chips rated 18 nanometers or less and NAND flash memory chips with 128 layers or more.  
 
Samsung Electronics and SK hynix received one-year waivers for the October rule, which are set to expire in six months.
 

BY SHIN HA-NEE [shin.hanee@joongang.co.kr]
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