US, Japan, South Korea vow strategic cooperation to boost security, economies

Last Updated on June 28, 2024 1:50 pm

Commerce and trade ministers from the United States, Japan and South Korea vowed on Wednesday to cooperate on strategic issues including artificial intelligence (AI) safety, export controls, clean energy and semiconductor supply chains.

“We’re doubling down our efforts to work together,” US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said at the start of the meeting in Washington.

“As we three are leading economies in manufacturing, services, technology and innovation and we have to work together to the benefit not just for our countries, but the safety and security of the world,” Raimondo said.

She was joined at the inaugural trilateral meeting by Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Ken Saito and South Korean Trade, Industry, and Energy Minister Ahn Duk-geun. The meetings were decided by the countries’ leaders at an August summit at Camp David.

The ministers said in a statement after the meeting they would “focus our joint efforts on a set of strategic areas designed to enhance the security and prosperity of our people and the Indo-Pacific region. We aim to prioritise cooperation to strengthen the resilience of supply chains in key sectors, including semiconductors and batteries,” as well as artificial intelligence safety, critical minerals, cybersecurity and technical standard setting.

Saito said the three “agreed to realise a strong and reliable supply chain for strategic materials by working together with like-minded countries, including Japan, the United States, and South Korea, and designing a market where factors other than price are fairly evaluated.”

Last month, President Joe Biden vowed to sharply increase tariffs on critical minerals from China as Washington vows to reduce China’s dominance of critical mineral supply chains.

In March, a Commerce Department official said the United States was asking allies to stop domestic companies from servicing certain chipmaking tools for Chinese customers, a key part of United State push to hobble China’s chipmaking capabilities.

“We expect the South Korea-US-Japan industry ministers’ meeting to serve as an institutional basis for deepening and developing industrial cooperation among the three countries and jointly responding to global risks,” Ahn said.

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